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DIVERGENT (2014)

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DIVERGENT (2014)

Saturday, 29 March 2014 02:24

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Written by 

The Buzz:

     In a dystopian future, survival means conforming to a new set of social rules. The human population is divided into factions that keep people separate depending on their temperament. In this world, keeping human nature coordinated and separate, the largest inclinations towards anarchy are tempered. Beatrice Prior takes the ritual test that all people must, in order to find out her true place in the civilization. Unfortunately, that test does not work as intended…

tris-divergent-poster
Life of the Party:

     I will start off by saying that I have never read the book that this movie is based on (you will notice that I have not read any book a movie is based off of) so I had no pre-conceived notion of what I was going to see before going in. For information’s sake, I will mention that this movie (and it’s two planned sequels) are based on Veronica Roth’s best selling novel, Divergent. Funny how the title of the book made it to the movie right? The movie starts off with a fairly succinct explanation of how the human population “worked” now. People are separated into different factions by their temperament and lifestyle. Erudites value knowledge and science, Candor are all about truth, Amity are all hippies, Abnegation are selfless helpers, and Dauntless are crazy warriors.

movies warriors.widea

"Dauntless…. COME OUT AND PLAYYYYAYYYYY!!"

     The story revolves around Beatrice Prior who has grown up in the faction of Abnegation. Her family adheres very well to their style of life; they live simply and prefer to help others over themselves. Beatrice, however, does not feel like she fits in with this way of living and secretly desires more. Seriously, who doesn’t want more than how they grew up? Anywho... In this civilization, you grow up in the faction of your birth and take a test to determine where you SHOULD be. Ultimately, each person is free to choose their faction, but most choose the faction that the test reveals for them.

     The story really begins to unfold when Beatrice takes her test but the results come back inconclusive. Her test administrator informs her that this means she is “divergent” and needs to keep it a secret from EVERYONE. Though rattled, she keeps the secret and on the day of her faction choosing, she makes a last second decision to join the ranks of Dauntless and live the free life she has always wanted.

     This is where I will stop and tell you what makes this movie worth watching, and without giving too many spoilers. The first thing that caught my eye with Divergent was some of the landscape images that depicted the new world. It wasn’t done in the typical dystopian style where the landscape is scorched earth with one giant walled “paradise” where all human life is crowded into.

mega-city-one-from-dredd"More like.. Mega City-FUN! Amirite?"

     On the contrary, it is a giant walled in “paradise“ where no one really knows who or what lies too far out into the wilderness. Either way, their civilization lives in the husk of an old city and I really liked how they incorporated some really innovative technology with a decaying, war-torn metropolis.

     The plot, though not a particular high point for me, did bring back images of some other movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. The similarities between Divergent and Equilibrium are strong, but without the hassle of eliminating emotion COMPLETELY. I even had a few flashbacks to Logan’s Run, which was surprising in and of itself.

     Now on to the acting, which I though was very adequately done. Shailene Woodley and Theo James play the heroes of the story Tris Prior and Four, respectively. Though I think they both could have toned down some aspects of their characters (the super hard-knock instructor vs the crappy student that perseveres) they succeeded in giving their roles feeling. Supporting them are the likes of Jai Courtney ( A Good Day to Die Hard), Ashley Judd (Heat, Kiss the Girls), Kate Winslet (you saw her naked in Titanic) and Ray Stevenson (Punisher Warzone, the Thor Movies). All good actors on their own, they fill out the roster quite well. Two other honorable mentions are Zoe Kravitz (daughter of musician Lenny samelastname) and Miles Teller, who is going to be the new Mr. Fantastic. Which works because he was a know-it-all cunt in this movie too, albeit a well acted one, so… Cheers to that buddy.

Potential Hangovers:

     People are going mad over this movie right now and I tell ya, I just do not know why. I see how this movie had some great potential and squandered it away frivolously. The storyline was predictable as fuck! Who didn’t see her joining dauntless, who didn’t see her falling in love with her hard-ass instructor, who didn’t see HOW she was going to rebel against the forces that tried to take over. It played out like a “how to” book; step by step by step.

Step by step tv show cast

"No no no… I had one extra “by step” added… who is in charge of this crap?"

      The first solid HALF of this movie mentioned Divergent maybe two times, and it was not even a real factor. In fact, the first half of the movie was a female empowerment story that shows that perseverance is really all you need to succeed if you are a woman trying to make it. The only real conflict being presented was weak girl trying to survive in a cut-throat competition all while trying to not bone hotty mc hotpants.

theo-james"I mean, can ya blame her?"

     I feel that the true conflict of the story takes far too long to reach and by the time it comes into play, it has not been developed well enough to make the audience care. Long story short, after an hour and a half of movie, we find out that the Erudite faction is attempting to overthrow the governing faction of Abnegation using Dauntless. This is going to be achieved through chemical thought control. All of a sudden, being Divergent matters because guess who isn’t susceptible to mind control? It takes FOREVER for the name sake of the movie to actually make a meaningful appearance. I am not saying that it should take main stage all two and a half hours, but maybe make an entrance before the climax of the story.

     Truthfully, it seems like this movie (and probably the book) is trying to skate on the coat tails of other popular young-adult centered books. It’s easy to draw a connection between The Hunger Games and Divergent. Not that Shailene Woodley is just another pretty stand-in for Jennifer Lawrence… I could be wrong about that. She may actually just be another pretty stand-in for Jennifer Lawrence. Regardless, watching this movie definitely makes me feel like it was written for a slightly younger-than-me audience.

The Atmosphere: Date movie, casual gathering

     I say date movie because there is enough story to keep both parties interested, enough action to be exciting, and enough love story interwoven to keep it sappy. That being said, don’t make it a first date unless you plan on dissecting the movie to pieces afterwards. A casual gathering would be alright as well, just don’t be TOO raucous cause you might miss plot. This isn’t Shark Attack in the Mediterranean, you actually have to watch on occasion.

Pros and Cons:

+ Pretty well acted with a relatively young cast. There are some hopefuls in there.
+ Some nice scenic images and cool action spots
-The story telling makes the plot appear very thin.
- so damn predictable.

The Drinking Game!

-Drink every time you are correct about what is about to happen!

-Drink Twice every time you are wrong.

Read 1135 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 March 2014 02:42

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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