Archive for November 21st, 2015

The Divergent Series – movies review
As of this writing, “The Divergent Series” are two movies based on the trilogy of young-adult adventure books by the same name.  The released movies are:  “Divergent” (2014) and “Insurgent” (2015).  There are two more movies projected to complete the book trilogy.  The next two movies are due out in 2016 and 2017.  I have not read the books, so I can’t comment on how accurately the films follow the books.
The basic story is that humanity has almost destroyed itself and in an effort to preserve the species has built a giant wall around the city of Chicago.  Within the walled city, the people have divided themselves along five basic character types: Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (courage), Erudite (intelligence), Candor (truth) and Amity (peace).  There are technically two additional “factions”:  the factionless (those who don’t accept the faction system or who can’t pass the initiation phase of the chosen group) and the divergent (those who can fit in more than one group).  The factionless are ostracized and the divergent are to be killed.  The Erudite are seeking to take full control of the city and initially try to use drugs on the Dauntless to control them and force them to slaughter the Abnegation who the Erudite consider to be their main threat.
The main characters are:   Beatrice “Tris” Prior (divergent) played by Shailene Woodley, Tobias “Four” Eaton (dauntless) played by Theo James, Caleb Prior (erudite, brother of Tris) played by Ansel Elgort, Christina (dauntless, female friend of Tris) played by Zoë Kravitz, Peter Hayes (dauntless, minor bad guy) played by Miles Teller, Jeanine Matthews (erudite, main bad guy) Kate Winslet, and Eric Coulter (dauntless, main “muscle” bad guy) played by Jai Courtney.
Most of the first movie is devoted to Tris finding out what a divergent is and that she is one of them.  Raised an abnegation, Tris chooses to be dauntless.  The struggle between her heritage and her training is what fully develops her divergence.  So…, intro story development, blah-blah-blah, action, “you’re going to be a bass-ass”, blah-blah-blah, seize the flag in a carney, blah-blah-blah, minor attempt to have a romance, then more blah and action (stop the dauntless and save the abnegation).  And… cliff hanger for second movie.
Most of the second movie is devoted to romance (Tris and Four) and Tris finding out she’s not just divergent, she is THE divergent – who is meant to save the world.  So, of course she leads a revolution.  And… cliff hanger for the third movie.  Oh yeah, I left out all of the let’s deal with our parent issues – after all this is a “coming of age” / “young-adult genre”.
Do the movies work and are they any good?  So-so and yes.   The story lines are pretty good.  The acting is okay.  The special effects and action sequences are excellent and remind me of “Matrix” and “Inception“.  That’s pretty good company!   Yes, they are both predictable, but most movies are.  If you like action movies, strong (young) female heroic leads, this series is for you.  Final recommendation:  moderate to strong recommendation – entertaining action movie series that’s a bit too predictable.
On This Day In:
2014 In My Own Vanity
2013 Filled With Words
2012 Lectio Auget Existentiae Meae
2011 Lied Lately?
2010 Born To Work At Faux News
Lost Again (Uh, Make That Still)
Qui Genus Humanum Ingenio Superavit
They’re Back… (Part 1)

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