Thursday, March 20, 2014

Divergent Review - 2½ Stars

I really like the up and coming actress Shailene Woodley—you might remember her as the daughter in “The Descendants.”  The makers of “Divergent” hope to launch another “Twilight” or more specifically “Hunger Games” franchise with her.  Shailene has the acting ability but the source material doesn’t quite rise to the occasion.  Based on the young adult books, we enter a world sometime in the future in which society is divided into five factions — basically separating farmers or hippies actually from smart people and smart people from judges and judges from the physical/army/police peacekeepers.  Every young person attends a ceremony in which they choose their faction.  And if this is already reminding you of the choosing ceremony from “Harry Potter” or those chosen for the “Hunger Games” you’re right on the money.   Anyway, Shailene doesn’t fit into any one group but chooses the jock fraternity aka “Dauntless” where she meets British hunk Theo James (you “Downton Abbey fans remember him as the visitor who hopped into Lady Mary’s bed).  Ultimately the powers that be discover Shailene’s abilities and work to stamp them out.  “Divergent” really doesn’t offer anything new or exciting beyond a weak copy of “The Hunger Games.”   Does it deliver what it promises?  Feels generic.  Is it entertaining?  At times.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Like “Twilight” this one’s for fans of the book.