“The future belongs to those who know where they belong…”
When a film is successful, particularly with the teenage market, it is inevitable that a slew of imitators will surely follow. The run away success of The Hunger Games franchise has led to copycats such as Maze Runner, I Am Number Four and Divergent. The latter is probably the best of the lot but also the most similar to Suzanne Collins hugely successful series.
In a dystopian future everyone is divided into one of five factions based on a test. Those that don’t fit into any faction are called Divergents and are considered to be dangerous. A wide eyed Shailene Woodley plays the protagonist Tris, a character so close to Katniss Everdeen that it is tantamount to theft. It’s a shame because I have always rated Woodley as an actress and she throws herself into the role but her arc is too rushed and disjointed to really be impactful.
Woodley heads up a talented and eclectic cast but again there is a nagging doubt that someone as charismatic as Miles Teller is kind of wasted on the predictable douchebag character Peter. Kate Winslet fares better as the ice cold antagonist but there is definitely a hint of missed opportunity about Divergent.
That being said, I was never bored and the training sequences in the first half of the movie were genuinely compelling. The ending felt a little rushed but there was enough to enjoy about Divergent to make me want to watch the 2015 sequel Insurgent. I have a weird soft spot for teen melodrama and dystopia so this franchise ticks all the boxes. I blame it on all the Dawson’s Creek I watched as a child.
Divergent is not a challenging film and it is certainly not original but it has lots of flashing lights and pretty colours and shouting and sometimes that is enough.