Great. Another teen novel movie. Ever since Twilight makes a ton of money and Hunger Games proved that teen novel movies can be good if done correctly, as well as making the stars of those movies famous worldwide, everybody wants to make one. Last year we got the horribly done The Host as well as Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and this time we get Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley, who is pretty much Jennifer Lawrence 2.0. Can Divergent be as good as Hunger Games? Or is it just as shitty as Twilight?
Fortunately, it’s way better than Twilight (kinda redundant, since everything is better than Twilight, except M.Night Shyamalan’s movies), but doesn’t really live up to the greatness of Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable movie, it’s good, not terrible nor great, just plain good and satisfying.
The best thing about the movie is the world that Veronica Roth created in her novel. The concept of factions and how the young adults need to enter new factions reminds me of the real life adulthood transition. For example, the aptitude test and choosing which faction really feels like they are going to university, and choose which major they want to work when they graduate. It’s a really nice concept and I love it because it’s relateable to the youth’s life.
Now, what makes the movie not really that great is because first off, it feels like a cheap knockoff to Hunger Games. The first 30 minutes does feel like this is an alternate Hunger Games or something like that, especially since they showed the youths gathering around for an event, which is similar to the Reaping. Also, while the concept and the world is really fascinating, the plot itself nevertheless is simplistic. While simple plots is usually a no crime for me, but I feel like they could’ve done it better. And the movie feels like it should’ve been called Dauntless instead of Divergent because the movie is essentially Tris trying to fit into Dauntless, with the Divergent part of her is like a subplot.
What is Divergent, really? Well put simply, it’s a free will. The factions want the members to think and act a certain way, but a Divergent thinks more than one way, and they cannot be controlled manipulated easily. Because of this, they are a threat to the world, and our main character is one of them.
Now let’s talk about the characters. Shailene Woodley, like I said, Jennifer Lawrence 2.0, is really good and gives a strong performance for a strong character. The best thing about her character Tris, is that unlike Katniss who is a badass from the start, we get to see Tris from zero to hero, and the movie mostly centers on her development. While she is not as great as Katniss, she is different enough and unique in her own way. Since she is a really great actor, I hope that Marc Webb will keep her as Mary Jane for The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
Next is Theo James playing Four, the hottie of the movie, which is the main remedy for teen novel movies. But really, unlike the assholes from Twilight, Mortal Instruments, The Host and even Hunger Games, Four doesn’t really look like eye candy for girls. Whereas the hottie of the movie is usually hot in addition to be ‘badass’ or strong, Four is more like badass in addition to be hot. There’s a difference in that. Also, I enjoyed Theo James’ performance in the movie, he actually makes a really great hero. I’ve said this because I knew Theo from Underworld Awakening, and because that movie is terrible it kinda hurts my respect for the guy. But thanks to this movie, that respect is stored.
Next is the supporting characters, I’ll talk about the main antagonist after this. Zoe Kravitz played Tris’ best friend Christina, and she pretty much is the typical best friend in the movie. And John McClane’s son Jack, or rather Jai Courtney plays Eric, Dauntless’ instructor and Four’s rival. Like Theo James, I hated Jai Courtney even more since he starred in A Good Day to Die Hard, and I, Frankenstein, both are terrible movies. While he is okay as Jack McClane, he’s not in I, Frankenstein. But really, it’s not the actor’s fault, it’s the movies’ fault for being bad. Jai is actually really good as a strong, disciplined and stoic character in Divergent, and his performance makes me feel okay about him playing Kyle Reese in the upcoming Terminator Genesis.
My favorite supporting character is Peter, the Draco Malfoy of the movie and was played by Miles Teller. He along with Woodley are pretty much going to be Hollywood’s next major movie star, thanks to The Spectacular Now (starring them as lovers and this movie, rivals!) and Teller reportedly casted as Mr.Fantastic (which I am excited about. He certainly looks like Mr. Fantastic if you ask me). Teller is usually casted as the nerdy type of guy, but here he gets to be a jerk, and this proves that this guy can be a very good actor. Trust me, he’s going to be one of Hollywood’s most wanted soon.
The main antagonist, Jeanine Matthews is played by Kate Winslet, and honestly I feel like the just shoehorned her into this movie so that at least they could get an A-list to be in the movie. In addition her character is just a cliche antagonist. But thanks to Kate Winslet portraying the character, I guess it’s forgiven. Speaking of her, she is so freaking hot that I envied the guy who sucked her breast in that one scene in that one movie!! (NSFW, highlight if you want to have a dirty mind)
Overall, Divergent may not be as good as the Hunger Games, and certainly will not live up to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but it has its own fanbase and this movie will gain more, and it nevertheless is an enjoyable movie. Not a bad movie, and the performances, especially Woodley and James’ is really great. That, and the interesting concept of the movie makes a sequel desireable, even though I’m not looking forward to it as much as Mockingjay. I’ll watch it next year regardless.
So Divergent is a Good Ol’ Popcorn Movie!