First Hit: Not very believable, a little long, some good acting, therefore this film is all over the place.
The future looks grim if you think this film has any modicum of truth. If it is, then I’m not interested in being there.
Basically, the story is that one city, Chicago, is surrounded by a very high concrete wall topped by metal fencing that looks more like antennas. Is Chicago the only society left and how do we know? Society is made up of five different types of people. Really! Is it really possible to take 10’s of thousands of people have them predetermined and predisposed to fit into 5 or 6 personality types? No. These personality types are designed to fulfill certain societal roles.
The personality types (I won’t bother using the names they used as these words are as bad as the story) are: People who govern. People who are brave. People who are peaceful. People who are intelligent. And, people who are truthful. Right, as if one is predisposed to truth, why can’t they be predisposed to also be peaceful? Oh, that’s where Divergents come into play.
The Divergents have no one predisposition. There is a “test” every young person takes which tells them what they are. Then after learning the results of their test, in a public presentation, each chooses a group to associate with. Although everyone can chose another role than the one they are predisposed, they don’t often pick something different.
However, once they chose a role they are stuck with it and cannot go back to their families or anywhere else. When someone fails the test, they are labeled a Divergent because they have no one predisposition and are considered a threat to society. Tris (Shailene Woodley) learns she is a Divergent but chooses to be in the brave group because they seem to have more fun and are active. As a recruit she excels at some things and struggles at others like fighting. She is mentored by Four (Theo James). Her mother Natalie (Ashley Judd) who is a govern (or is she?) tries to support her.
Her best friend is Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and her help each other pass the test to become a full fledge brave person. If one fails to pass their initiation test they become homeless. There is other stuff about a faction wanting to take over control of the government as led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet) as well but all this is part of an unclear story.
Woodley is very good and does her best with the role, but the whole thing is preposterous. James is good and the chemistry between him and Woodley is good. The downside of his acting or the screenplay is that his difference is telegraphed throughout the film. Kravitz was actually one of the best things about the film – I enjoyed the energy she brought to her role. Winslet was lost in this useless role. Judd was OK as Woodley’s mother and hid her secret well. Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor wrote a poorly conceived script from a published book. Neil Burger directed this and given the script and story it was OK.
Overall: This was so poorly strung together that the result was; it was too long and unbelievable.