Review: 'Divergent' Is A 'Hunger Games' Light, But Still Entertains
'Divergent,' directed by Neil Burger, takes us to the city of Chicago 100 years in the future, where 'conformity' is all the rage - well actually, it's the law.
After a devastating war, people are divided into five factions. Amity: they're the folks that like to plant vegetables and dress like 60's hippies. The Erudites: a group that Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs would definitely belong to. The Candor - Think about the most obnoxious person you know; the one who'll let you know that your new haircut sucks and you look like you put on a few pounds. Then there's Abnegation, who run the government, can only look in the mirror no more than 20 seconds a day and have no fashion sense whatsoever.
Last, but definitely not least, are the 'Dauntless.' Everyone in this group has six pack abs, can bench press 200 lbs plus and kick serious butt. These hunky men and women protect the population from unsavory characters; yes folks even the future has unsavory characters.
When they're not shooting guns and punching someone out, this group enjoys jumping off of very tall buildings, and running onto fast moving trains.
The good news for the populace is that they still have free will. No matter what faction you are born into, when a person turns 16, they can pick the group they want to spend the rest of their lives with.
To help them with their choice, teens are giving a mind altering serum, which gives them insight into which faction best suits them. But they can ignore the results if they so choose, which is exactly what Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) does. Beatrice was born into the Abnegation faction, but grey, drab clothes don't work with her peaches and cream complexion.
Beatrice chooses Dauntless to the dismay of her parents (Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn). Her brother also dishes his birth faction and goes with the brainy Eurdites.
Unfortunately, Beatrice has a little problem - it seems the test she took, shows that she actually can fit into more than one faction. In other words, she is a non conformist...a divergent. Lucky for Beatrice, her tester (Maggie Q) has agreed to hide the results.
So Beatrice happily goes off with the Dauntless crew, goes through rigorous training that would make a Marine cry and meets a guy - but not just any guy. He happens to be Beatrice's (who now goes by Tris), trainer.
His name is Four (Theo James) and he's cute enough to get every teenagers' heart in the Western and Eastern world beating fast.
'Divergent' is based on the first book of Veronica Roth's young adult, best selling futuristic trilogy. That's right, there are two more coming.
The film has lots of action, suspense, intrigue and some really cool shots of Tris leaping from tall building and zip lining across the city.
There's even something for the grownups. There’s Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) of the Euridite faction, who when not trying to take over the government from the Abnegation group, is seeking out divergent - so she can kill them. Non-conformity to her is why the world got so screwed up in the first place. Personally, I think she's just a power hungry bitch.
I consider 'Divergent' which opens in theatres Friday, March 21, 2014, 'Hunger Games' LIGHT...but having said that, it still entertained me...Mostly because I'm a Sci-fi junkie...
For that reason, I gave the film 3 1/2 bagels out of 5. John of course would have given it a much lower score.
Check out the Two Jews On Film video (even though there's only one Jew at the moment) for more of my thoughts and witty observations.