Divergent (2014) / action, sci-fi, adventure
Directed by Neil Burger
Screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor
Based on Divergent by Veronica Roth
Produced by Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shabazian
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen
Watchable mediocre teen SF!
The story takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago where people are divided into five distinct factions based on human virtues: Abnegation the selfless, Amity the peaceful, Candor the honest, Dauntless the brave and Erudite the intelligent. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned that she is Divergent and thus will never fit into any one of the factions and soon learns that a sinister plot is brewing in her seemingly perfect society.
Obviously this movie would be more enjoyable if one had read the book. Since I hadn't I was sometimes a bit confused and wondered why and how some scenes are important. And of course there are similarities to other young adult films but it's still entertaining and often quite engaging. Theo James and Shailene Woodley's performances are strong and believable and without them I honestly think this movie would be a disaster. The reason for this being poor writing (there is no input in the characters), unconvincing plot, predictability and lack of connection. The film is just an average very safe flick with nothing especially exciting. 3/5