Excerpt: Summit Entertainment seems to have cornered the market on teen novel adaptations with its successful Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, and it looks like they have another hit on their hands. My teenage daughter absolutely loved the book series; she says the film’s character development is lacking by comparison and felt the movie should have been split into two, but the essence of the story is retained.
Excerpt: If there’s one thing you can count on in Hollywood, it’s that studios will desperately attempt to ride the coattails of recent successes in an attempt to build their own franchises. You can’t exactly blame them for trying, though the end result is usually that the market is flooded with pale imitators marketing themselves as thinly-veiled carbon copies of whatever managed to hit it big.
Conclusion: You have to suspend disbelief quite a bit to embrace the dystopic Chicago that Veronica Roth erected for Divergent , from the socio-political conceits to the technology employed, but there's a thematically rich yarn being spun in Beatrice Prior's journey of self-discovery through the Dauntless training pit that makes the most of its unlikelihood.
Conclusion: Overflowing with — mostly nonsensical — ideas about autonomy and free will while imagining itself as a dystopic sci-fi epic about a controlled society, 'Divergent' inundates the audience with promises of something better and exciting which it can't deliver. A wasted Shailene Woodley, an underused Ashley Judd and a boring Kate Winslet star in an unoriginal and ultimately dull film swimming in an illogical plot and riddled with more questions than answers.
Conclusion: Divergent bears too much resemblance too soon to be judged without comparison to The Hunger Games . This post-apocalyptic franchise-launcher pales to the Jennifer Lawrence series in seemingly every way, its more preposterous totalitarian setting used for unengaging action and mushy romance. There's more to appreciate here than in a number of lesser YA adaptations, but not enough to justify the long runtime or to hold much promise for the series' future.
Conclusion: Hey, Tris herself almost gets thrown out of Dauntless at one point, so even those who don't start particularly strong can finish with a flourish, so the writing isn't totally on the wall for this franchise yet, and indeed the story will probably be fully told only when the second film is released.
Excerpt: What happens when you capitalize on the success of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games , throw in a bit of the still wildly-popular Harry Potter franchise and add a dash of originality? Evidently you get Divergent ! Now I digress as I actually enjoyed the movie, but to be completely and totally honest, I’d never even heard of the books/film(s) until a few months ago.