Friday, March 28, 2014

Divergent

 

Expectations:
Trends among teenagers obviously have a lot of pull in the entertainment industry, and films like Divergent would not exist without precursors, such as The Hunger Games. Sure, The Hunger Games has made for two pretty good films, thus far, but do we really need 20 other movies that feature 22 year old teenagers killing the government!?! I mean, do we really need a story to help us understand that teenagers are rebellious? Personally, I don't get it. The vampire trend I got. The zombie trend I got. I just can't say the same for the teenage rebellion trend. Needless to say, my expectations were not particularly high. However, I didn't expect it to be much worse or better than The Hunger Games or Catching Fire.

Plot:
So, my Hunger Games-esque expectations pretty much hit the nail on the head. Don't get me wrong... I was entertained. At the same time, I didn't really care what happened to the characters, which is not a good thing, in case you were wondering. My biggest issue was with the large number of character plotlines that just didn't make much sense, such as Tori, Jeanine, and Al, who I will talk about more in the character section. However, I liked that there was no love-triangle! A love story is good, but I HATE love-triangles, mostly because they are so darn predictable. I mean, did anyone actually think that Bella was going to end up with Jacob?... The answer is NO! Additionally, the willingness of Divergent's author to kill pretty much anybody that she saw fit was quite enjoyable. I know my opinion is not popular, but I love when people die in dramatic movies or TV shows, because it adds so much edge to the story. I've said these things before, but Divergent was downright ruthless, so it's worth noting.

Characters:
Well, Oscar season is long gone, and it's time to transition from great characters and low-grossing films to mediocre characters and big blockbusters, which is exactly what Divergent offered. Of course, the talented Shailene Woodley did an adequate job of portraying Tris that is sure to please teenage girls all over the world. Honestly, she was no better or worse than Jennifer Lawrence was in the first two Hunger Games films. These roles just aren't meant to blow people away, and they don't.

Negatives:
The consistently bad guy who was always there to be mean to Tris, Eric (played by Macklemore... I mean Jai Courtney), made Kate Winslet's Jeanine completely unnecessary. Her character is not actually in the book, and it was quite easy to tell. However, how do you say no to Kate freakin Winslet??? I'm conflicted about this one. I have been told that she is actually in the book, which makes the fact that she was worthless a lot, lot, lot worse, but oh well... The one character that I am not conflicted about is Tori, played by Maggie Q, who was the strangest filler character that may have ever appeared in a movie. Tori was basically the queen of multi-tasking, as she served as a nurse, a tattoo artist, and a political activist, all within the realm of two hours. Considering the fact that the entire film was about the government dictating what ONE job you would be doing for the rest of your life, I found it extremely ironic that this important character had like twelve different jobs.

Positives:
Having seen The Spectacular Now, 21 and Over, and Project X, I've been nothing but underwhelmed by Miles Teller. Fortunately, as Peter, he redeemed himself in what was the absolute perfect role for his repertoire. Hopefully, Teller will continue along this path, starting with his Sundance hit, Whiplash, which I can't wait to see.

Conclusion:
While I didn't really hate Divergent, it was quite underwhelming, and the flaws in the storyline were just blatant. Honestly, I'm surprised that this series of books became so popular, considering how poorly written the story seemed to be. Will I go watch the sequel?... Probably so. As I said, I was entertained by what happened during the film. I just didn't really care what would happen. Hopefully, the holes in the plot will be sewn up in the sequel, but I'm not really counting on it. For now, I would suggest sticking with The Hunger Games. At least you get Stanley Tucci! I give Divergent 2.45 out of 5 stars.

10 comments:

  1. Nice review, Tanner. I, too, was underwhelmed (though admittedly, I didn't have too high of expectations either), and it really does come to just how poorly written this thing is. Sure, I wasn't expecting high art or anything, but wow, this movie was seriously dumber than a damn brick. One of the honest to god stupidest screenplays I've seen in a good minute, lol. :P

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  2. Hmm, maybe I should give this a miss? Doesn't come out in Aus for a few more weeks so I've had prior warning on this one. Great review man :)

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    1. You won't miss much. Just watch The Hunger Games again! Thanks for the comment!

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  3. The books became popular because they weren't poorly written with holes in the plot. It was all the fault of the screenwriters! Hate on the movie, not the books! lol

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    1. Yes mam! lol... I just needed to pass blame and her name popped up first.

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  4. Better than The Twilight Saga but never as good as The Hunger Games, instead, more of a replicate of that wonderful franchise. Good review Tanner.

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    1. Thanks, man. Much better than Twilight... I agree!

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  5. Despite the film falling below expectation I still think this will be the making of Shailene Woodley. I thought she was great in Alex Payne's The Descendants, I predicted big things for her then and this could well be the film that propels her into super stardom.

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    1. Absolutely! She was great in The Descendants, and I can't wait for The Fault in Our Stars (hopefully my expectations aren't too high).

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