McCoy On Movies: Divergent
“Seriously, this is better than smelling whatever that was inside that train any longer!” Christina (Zoë Kravitz) and Beatrice a.k.a. Tris (Shailene Woodley) in a scene from director Neil Burger’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s teen action drama/thriller DIVERGENT. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk © 2013 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Ray Stevenson, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Ben Lamb, Amy Newbold and Mekhi Phifer
WRITER(S): Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor (screenplay); Veronica Roth (novel on which the film is based)
DIRECTOR(S): Neil Burger
WEB SITE: www.divergentthemovie.com
60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth, Divergent stars Shailene Woodley as Beatrice Prior. Living in a dystopian future in a city that was once Chicago, Beatrice has arrived at the age where she and her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) will learn what faction they are best suited to live in for the rest of their lives.
Oh – maybe I should back up a sec so this makes sense.
You see, in this future, people live in districts factions based on their personality traits. And while Beatrice and Caleb’s parents (Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn, respectively) have brought them up to belong to the caring Abnegation faction, their tests lead them to choose new ones: Erudite (The Intelligent) for Caleb; Dauntless (The Brave) for Beatrice. And after her tester Tori (Maggie Q) freaks out, Beatrice learns the one thing she didn’t count on: Her tests revealing that she does not belong to the Dauntless, the Erudite or her own Abnegation factions, for she is “divergent” – and that is a very, very bad thing in this new world …
Meanwhile, Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) is happy to see Beatrice choose the Dauntless faction, which is where Beatrice – now re-dubbing herself as just Tris – first meets her fellow new recruits Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Peter (Miles Teller), Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Molly (Amy Newbold). And while Eric (Jai Courtney) seems to be a take-no-prisoners instructor, there is another one – Four (Theo James) – that seems smarter, kinder and sees something special in her … Or does he?
As Tris comes to learn, however, nothing in this new world is quite as it seems – and she might need all of her divergent skills to survive in it.
WHO WON’T – OR SHOULDN’T – LIKE THIS FILM?: People who like the Hunger Games more than the Divergent book series; people who who already feel they saw this movie when they saw The Hunger Games; those over the teen hero genre of drama/action film
BOTTOM LINE – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? Given the strong performances and chemistry of its two leads, Divergent is a solid, entertaining film sure to appeal to its core audience (and women of all ages).
If you’ve seen The Hunger Games, however, the name of this film might be quite ironic … For just about everything about Divergent may leave you feeling cinematic déjá vu.
WHAT’S GOOD (OR BAD) ABOUT IT?: Much to author Veronica Roth’s chagrin, t’s impossible to discuss Divergent without mentioning just how much her book (or at least its big-screen version) has in common with The Hunger Games. Need a refresher? Let’s take a look:
Hunger Games (HG) setting: Dystopian future where people live in districts
Divergent (DV) setting: Dystopian world where people are assigned to “factions,” a.k.a districts based on their personalities
HG hero: Young female Caucasian brunette named Katniss Everdeen; comes from a poor family and is forced into action to save her sister
DV hero: Young female Caucasian brunette named Beatrice Prior a.k.a Tris; comes from a family that is part of the factions’ government yet is still poor and humble
HG villains: A group of elite leaders who force the poor’s youth into battle for their own amusement and to keep the subordinates in line … Not to mention the other combatants who want to reign supreme in battle
DV villains: A group of elite leaders who force youths to choose a faction based on their personality test results – unless they can’t be controlled easily … Not to mention the other members of various factions that want to rule and/or be the stars of their faction
HG hero’s assistant: A former combatant that helps train our young hero so she can survive and possibly one day overthrow the evil rulers
DV hero’s assistant: A leader of her new faction who can tell she is divergent and yet doesn’t turn her in … As she learns skills that might one day help her overthrow the evil rulers
DIVERGENT – Trailer – Official [HD] – 2014