Divergent (2014)

  • Time: 139 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Neil Burger
  • Cast: Shailene Woodley, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson


Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another – for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, this secret might help her save the people she loves… or it might destroy her.


  • Divergent is yet another bestselling novel I’ve never heard about, and part of yet another young adult trilogy, by yet another female writer (Veronica Roth) I’ve, again, never heard about. Also, this is yet another movie I would never have watched, had I not had to write this blog – basically because it looks awful, boring and unoriginal. Before I turn this into a rant against this newest fashion everyone seems to be crazy about, I’ll talk about the movie. Divergent is probably best summed up in an anecdote: while trying to point out the difference between The Hunger Games and Divergent, the latter’s director Neil Burger started explaining what it was about – and his explanation could have easily been applied to both movies. Ironically, Divergent hails individuality while being a copycat itself.

    Divergent is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, where people are divided in five factions, depending on their virtues: the Erudite are smart, the Amity are kind, the Candor honest, the Dauntless brave and the Abnegation selfless. Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) and her family are Abnegation, but she and her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) have to take the aptitude test to determine which faction they truly belong to. Beatrice’s results are inconclusive, she’s dubbed Divergent and must keep this secret. Eventually, she chooses the Dauntless faction and starts a difficult training after which the weakest ones will be cast out and become factionless – all the while, hiding her true, Divergent nature, as Divergents are being hunt down and killed.

    Surprisingly, Divergent didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought it would be. It might be because the director is Neil Burger, who also directed Limitless and The Illusionist, which are good movies. Also, the acting isn’t bad, although, sometimes, somewhat underwhelming. This applies especially to Kate Winslet, who plays the ‘bad girl’ in the movie, the Erudite Jeanine – and the fact that she’s bad is evident from the first moment she’s on screen, just because she’s cold and falsely kind. Her character isn’t developed any further, she remains irritatingly perfect, as if that was enough to make a good villain. But in this case, the problem is mostly of the screenwriters – and probably the novelist, who created the interesting setting and faction system, but didn’t exploit their potential fully or elaborate them enough to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies.

    I mentioned before, the movie reminds much of The Hunger Games, but I don’t see that as the movie’s (or the book’s) bad quality. What surprises me is that, after all those silly young adult flicks we’ve had and still have, people and mostly teenagers are, once again, interested in the same old story – just check out Divergent’s box office results. The market is saturated and it’s extremely difficult to create a new YA series that will be truly good anymore. Divergent (the movie, but I doubt the book is better, at least story-wise) isn’t good: it’s predictable, filled with cliches, boring, too long, unoriginal and so on. And still, the book came out and it was a success, and the movie came out and was a success, too – and this will most likely happen to all the other similar novels and movies that will be published in the future. I can only say, if you want to get rich fast, just write a teen love story, with a wannabe social commentary, not set on out planet and/or in our time, and you’re guaranteed to succeed.

    Rating: 5/10

    Read more reviews at http://passpopcorn.com/

  • I loved the book, which probably set me up to be disappointed by this movie. To me, it seemed that important parts were missing and random things added. Peter came off as a light hearted jerk instead of a dangerous sociopath and Four just happened to suddenly like Tris. These were important things to develop. Instead, time was taken to have a show down with Janine at the end??? It wasn’t just the deviation from the book. I saw this movie with a Divergent-virgin and he asked me multiple times if it was almost over. He felt lost and confused. I understand when movies are changed because the book just doesn’t play out but that did not appear to be the case.

    This was very disappointing and I frankly expected more with Roth being part of the production team.

  • This is a great movie! A very well-acted well written script. I’ve never read the book, but the story was very easy to follow and very engaging. I just let the story come to me, let it set it’s own pace and wow awesome! I really loved it! Great twists, good action, heroic moments, excellent drama, romance and heart. I liked it just as much as “Hunger Games”, maybe even a little better. It seemed more realistic and sincere. It is not as scientifically sophisticated as movies like “Gattaca” or “Artificial Intelligence”. And it’s not as large scale as “LOTR” or “Ben Hur”. But it a really good flick. It was good, from top to bottom, start to finish!
    Woodley and James were cast perfectly along with Winslet, Teller and Courtney rounding off the talented cast!

    Definitely see this film and read the series. I’m looking forward to the sequels.

  • Based on the book of the same name, Divergent is about a world divided by factions based on virtues. Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.

    Divergent has been compared to The Hunger Games a lot and after watching it, I find that ludicrous. It’s based on a book and there’s a female lead, that’s where the comparisons end. Their stories are so far apart and if anything, Divergent is much more original.


    Speaking of the story, I think that is Divergent’s biggest strength. It’s different and very thought out, it takes a while to really appreciate the story as you’re being introduced to this world, but…
    To read the full review click here.

  • Divergent 8/10- Most are skeptical of book to movie adaptions, especially when it is in the young adult genre, and most movies of the past have not given the genre a good name. Divergent however, is a solid film that without a doubt makes up for all of them. It takes you on a non-stop suspense-filled ride while staying true to the book and literally makes the magnificent words fly off the page.

    I would like to clarify that it is not some twilight garbage or trying to rip the Hunger Games. It is its own film and does a fine job standing by itself.

    I will begin by saying that I do agree that at certain points of the film, it does feel like they are going a little slow and are dragging on a certain scene. These scenes are this way though because the director has a gigantic respect for the book and wanted to stay true to the book as much as possible. The main problem that I heard most people had with the film is that they felt like the ending was too rushed. I can see why someone would think that, and I do agree that is was a little rushed but I still thought it was a near-perfect scene. Again, the reason it was this way is because that is how it is in the book. I love the book and I loved all of the scenes that they chose for the movie, but I would have maybe changed the scenes a tiny bit just so it would be more amicable for an audience. Those changes would be very small though and all of these minuscule problems in no way stopped me from enjoying the film.

    Whoever was the head production designer deserves an Oscar for this movie. He made the exact images that I pictured in the book come to life. He picked the perfect shades for the colors of each faction and made amazing communities for each faction as well. He did an outstanding job particularly on the dauntless designs. I was very concerned coming into the film about how he would portray the dauntless and the place they live in, but I was just astounded by how great of a job he did. The fighting arena, the pit, the rooms, they were all awesome. I would also like to give props to the choreographers of the film for completely coming up with a new way to fight. They do not follow the usual boxing type fighting, they design their own that significantly contributes to each combat sequence.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/captain-america-the-winter-soldier–divergent.html

  • ˝The future belongs to those who know where they belong.˝

    ˝Divergent¨.A movie everyone was eagerly looking forward to. A movie a lot of fuss was made about. A movie that was doomed to be a mega-success in the cinemas as ˝Guardians of the Galaxy˝. The only difference with the latter is that the film from Marvel really looks original and refreshing and also has an unique atmosphere. ˝Divergent ˝ is yet another adaptation of a youth book, written by the twenty-five-year-old Veronica Roth, of which one hopes it will make a heap of money just like ˝Twilight˝ and ˝The Hunger Games˝ did. And after wards the merchandising could exploit the youthful fans for years. Admittedly, I had a good feeling about this movie and was wondering how this film would turn out. That good feeling melted away like snow in the sun after roughly 45 minutes. I came to the conclusion that it was just another teen movie, with the same stale story lines and banal trivialities that would make an impression on a young naive public. In other words, again a fragile individual that eventually grows into a heroine and, surprisingly, saves society from being ruined. Sigh. That’s indeed for once quite different and terribly innovative.

    As I mentioned earlier, the first 45 minutes were fascinating. An explanation about the current situation with magnificent images of the ruins of Chicago. I was just wondering why they didn’t renovate the existing buildings, since they could construct those ultra modern glass and iron buildings. Or were these half-streaked tower blocks the shelter for those who didn’t belong to any class? Whatever. The description of the various factions was pictured nicely. It even went into a socio-political direction at one moment. But soon I couldn’t prevent seeing comparison points with the other movies of youth books.

    However, I fear to say everything that’s been said before and I don’t think I will reveal any new original angles. Indeed, the system of factions reasonable compares to that in ˝The Hunger Games˝. Katniss became a symbol of liberation and hope in ˝The Hunger Games˝. I suppose that role will also be played by Beatrice (I could be hopelessly wrong since I’ve never read the books). The ceremony can be compared with that from Harry Potter. The only thing they do not need to do is to put that old talking hat on their head. Just as Melanie, a rebellious teenager, in ˝The Host˝, Beatrice gets hopelessly entangled in a puppy love affair, as expected. Nevertheless there is one positive point. It’s by far better than ˝Beautiful Creatures˝ and way better than ˝The Mortar Instruments˝. And if you want to look at a futuristic film, where there is a distinction between certain classes and also has a struggle for freedom, then I suggest you watch ˝Snowpiercer˝. But then however, this movie lacks a bit of real romance and the aggressive and violent level is a bit higher. So it’s not for the faint romantic souls.

    The initial phase where Tris is heading out with the jeering mob of Dauntless, climbing and balancing on bridges while wandering through town and jumping on hurtling trains and after wards jumping back on flat roofs (yes just getting on and off a train at a platform is not challenging for these daredevils) is still enjoyable. Even the tests that they have to endure and the mutual competition that arises is still acceptable. But in the end I thought it was a barbaric and cruel faction that throw out newbies, who ultimately have chosen for them, because they didn’t pass the tests. The moment a slight chemistry develops between Four and Tris, it goes downhill for me and it becomes a little too predictable. The ˝Beverly Hills 90210˝ level was reached without any problem with the glitzy, handsome protagonists and feel-good moments. It won’t be long and the merchandising machine will be on track and we are bombarded with all sorts of trinkets and gadgets. The next years will once again be filled with Barbie-like stuff, TV programs, PC Games and fashion statements that are related to ˝Divergent¨.

    Shailene Woodley is perfect for this role and exudes a charisma and fragility. Her ​​future as a teen idol is guaranteed. She will travel the trajectory as a rising star just like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson did before her. We’ll just wait and see if her future performances will be appreciated by moviegoers. Theo James has his looks and that will also guarantee a high melting level for all the the teenage girls looking at him and who will be floating home after wards. His toughness doesn’t last long and before you know it he protects Tris as a real mother hen and winds up on the soggy and corny romantic path. Of all the companions of Tris the only one that I can remember is the role of Miles Teller as the terrible enervating Peter. When I look at his performance in ˝The Awkward Moment˝ I’m sure that the irritating quality is a personal trait. Kate Winslet managed again to come across as haughty and disdainful. For the rest it wasn’t really an impressive role.

    Ultimately ˝Divergent˝ is an adolescent story with a disappointing predictable plot. I suppose the sequel, like with ˝The Hunger Games˝, will be a middle film which will contribute even less. So I’m not going to bother to watch it. Despite the sometimes extremely professional elaborate action scenes, it all feels as fake as the applied tattoos.

    More reviews here : http://movie-freak.be

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