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Movie Reviews DIVERGENT

DIVERGENT

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Trilogies can be great entertainment with each new release expanding on the evolving storyline, simultaneously delving deeper into recognizable characters that have proven to be relatable. DIVERGENT (2014) starring Shailene Woodly, Theo James, and Kate Winslet was predictable and a disappointment from the very beginning. Immediately compared to the wildly successful HUNGER GAMES (2012), it failed miserably.

Set in a futuristic Chicago, the world has been divided into five factions based on an individual’s virtue: the selfless, peaceful, honest, brave, and the intelligent. Although ninety-five percent of young men and women follow their parents after testing, a small percentage do choose differently. When Tris Prior finds out that she does not fit into any one faction and that she is ultimately a divergent, she is forced to expend all her energy in a struggle to survive when she unwittingly stumbles onto a plot to destroy all like her who are unable to conform.

Based on the novel written by Veronica Roth, DIVERGENT is a fairly faithful adaptation, unfortunately, it’s also plagued with an inability to connect to its audience. Recognizable and relatable are two separate sides of the coin, and although Shailene Woodly leads the majority of scenes, I was unable to dredge up any emotions in regards to whether or not she failed. As for Kate Winslet’s first role as an anti-hero, she was five months pregnant during filming and great effort was taken to conceal her growing baby-bump.

With the sequel already scheduled for release on March 20th, 2015, I wasn’t totally surprised that director Neil Burger had already been replaced by Robert Schwentke. Maybe the second part will hold more promise for this lukewarm franchise. Want to see a great forced-conformity movie, check out BLADE RUNNER (1982) starring Harrison Ford. PG-13, 139 Mins, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, rated *** 3 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin September 16, 2014
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