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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey with the main character - not an SF-action romp
A great start to what I hope will be a superb franchise. Unlike many science-fiction stories, the narrative is focused on the main character's journey as she tries to identify where she fits in a post-war world. In fact, the main plot take a second role to the growth of her character for the main part of the movie, with a much more typical generic action ending. So if...
Published 1 month ago by midnightz

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars train-jumping...it's the way forward!
While the Hunger Games stories will sit at the top of the futuristic dystopian teen-angst genre, it is nice to see a movie which can credibly deserve to sit on the first branch down. Based on the novels by Veronica Roth we are transported to a dire futuristic Chicago where all citizens are assigned to a faction in their teen years following testing, while those exhibiting...
Published 1 month ago by LINGO


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey with the main character - not an SF-action romp, 8 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
A great start to what I hope will be a superb franchise. Unlike many science-fiction stories, the narrative is focused on the main character's journey as she tries to identify where she fits in a post-war world. In fact, the main plot take a second role to the growth of her character for the main part of the movie, with a much more typical generic action ending. So if you're after a science fiction action romp then this isn't it, although it does have some lovely action scenes - one in particular had me rewind the scene to have the pleasure of watching it again. It is therefore fortunate the the main character is very well acted, and this film is more about her journey than about the wider societal issues that form the ending. The film is also nicely grounded despite it being set centuries in the future, so there is little in the form of distracting CGI visuals - not that I mind some eye-candy effects but it's refreshing to have a nicely fleshed out world that feels real. Looking forward to watching the sequel, which I suspect will have a more action now that the main story and characters have been introduced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars train-jumping...it's the way forward!, 22 Jun. 2015
By 
LINGO (Conwy, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Divergent (DVD)
While the Hunger Games stories will sit at the top of the futuristic dystopian teen-angst genre, it is nice to see a movie which can credibly deserve to sit on the first branch down. Based on the novels by Veronica Roth we are transported to a dire futuristic Chicago where all citizens are assigned to a faction in their teen years following testing, while those exhibiting qualities of various factions are rounded up and exterminated. Our heroine Tris falls into the latter but keeps her true self hidden as she fights to survive in her chosen faction. I actually enjoyed Divergent as the action was steady and the tension was maintained throughout. A good start to the trilogy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, futuristic action film, 21 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Divergent (Blu-ray)
Was surprised at how much I enjoyed this, as I had wondered if it would come across like a poor copy of the Hunger Games. While the lead is no Jennifer Lawrence - and the plot is not exactly deep - it's a fast paced film that really keeps you watching. Also liked the soundtrack.
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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Divergent, 12 Oct. 2014
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Divergent [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this film even though it is probably aimed at a young audience. I identified with the chief protagonist,Tris, whose individuality renders her unable to fit into any of the five factions that make up a futuristic ,dystopian Chicago society. She is a Divergent, someone who cannot be pigeon holed into one category by the ruling elite. They see such types as dangerous ,unpredictable and a threat to social cohesion and they are hunted down and killed. Tris hides her secret and joins the daring ,warrior faction Dauntless.The film follows her progress as she undergoes a difficult training programme ,falls in love and tries to avoid detection. However in the background, one faction tries to usurp the governing role of another and this threatens Tris's family and the protective role of her Dauntless faction. Can she avoid detection and use her multi faceted skills to save the day ? "Divergent" is an exciting,imaginative film and is a critique of bad minded ruling elites desires to crush individuality and homogenise society into manageable ,ignorant little units. There's plenty of action,suspense and romance in this highly entertaining film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The crime of plurality, 18 Aug. 2014
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Divergent [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
If I was to tell a story of someone not 'fitting-in' to a particular group it would be difficult to hold your interest. But if I set that story in the far future and create five specific groups you become interested.

The one star reviews refuse to accept the existence of this social outcast type of story. Where one person can 'fit' into many groups. The biggest line in the movie goes something like: "you don't fit in to this group therefore you can not be controlled." You will note I am avoiding using the language created for the story.

As a movie it minded me of Logan's Run, Blade Runner and The Matrix. Whilst none of these movies are up to Blade Runner's level (very close to classic movie of any genre) the other two each have ideas about how current society is operating, ideas enveloped in a youthful, sci-fi adventure. Never was life on two levels (seeming and actual) so well presented as it is in The Matrix.

Standard fare these days is a Babe and her attraction to a man just out of reach. I preferred the Mature woman played by Kate Winslet although let down by her control freakery and obsession with administration. But enough of my porn fix, the movie is enjoyable and certainly not just the province of early teen girls.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Held Back by Business, 26 Jan. 2015
By 
bizmandan (staffordshire, england) - See all my reviews
Ok, let’s address the elephant in the room, Divergent was made purely to ride the coat tales of the massively successful Hunger Games franchise, a fact that would make most people apprehensive at the least. Who wants to watch the poor mans Hunger Games when you can just watch the actual Hunger Games? Well I can honestly tell you that the concept and characters are original and compelling enough for this film to be enjoyed without comparison to the afore mentioned franchise, that’s not to say that Divergent is better than Hunger Games, it’s just, Different.

From the get go I found this film drawing me in with its notion, Chicago, post a non-descript war, that has made the surrounding areas uninhabitable, found the only way to live peacefully is to divide society into several factions. There's Dauntless, the brave warriors; Amity, peaceful farmers; Candor, truth tellers; Erudite, the brainy; and Abnegation, the selfless. Teenagers take a test to determine which faction suits them best, but they are still free to choose what faction they would like to live their life in, those who don’t fit in any of the groups become the factionless, and live life out in squalor and poverty. Each of the five factions help balance with the other four and thus society carries on peacefully with stability. The reason the film drew me in straight away is that I found myself thinking, “that is actually a great way of doing things, I wonder if that would work in real life?” this is actually a weird line of thinking for a future dystopian film to provoke, so straight away, I had to give the story, or at least the concept, top marks. But we already knew that this film would provide us with an interesting story as it so proudly displays in the opening credits “Based on the book by Veronica Roth”.

All of the back story of this particular literally universe is skimmed over within the first twenty minutes of the film and that is a hell of a lot of back story to fit into less than half an hour, this results in the world that Divergent is set in being a little ambiguous, that is not a bad thing in itself, but when you are aware that this story is based on a trilogy of books, just like the previously mentioned Hunger Games and the unfathomably successful Twilight series,
How twilight should have ended
you can almost hear the Hollywood executives rubbing their hands together in greedy glee and you realise why so much is being held back; there has to be enough story to fill another three films after this one!

Although the realisation that this story will not reach its conclusion until at least 2017 is annoying to say the least, the addition of Shailene Woodley as the lead in this franchise makes it all so much more bareable. She is absolutely wonderful as Tris, our protagonist, she is able to kick ass, be believably smart and is a plausible teenager despite being in her early twenties at the time of this being filmed. Tris decides to become Dauntless, and much of the film consists of her training to become part of that faction. For a good proportion of the film nothing really happens apart from Tris’ score going up and down on a leader board, something that sounds completely mundane, I know, but Woodley keeps us engaged and interested in what her character is going through, and she should be commended for her part in this film.

Because of the solid lead that Woodley provides, director Neil Burger manages to keep the film as interesting as it can be, without accidently pointing out the blatant missing pieces of the story too much. The director, cinematographer, production designer, costumer designer and CGI artists all combine to give the film a great dystopian/utopian look, an oxymoron in visuals, if you will. It’s a production choice that I like a lot, it tells a story on its own, just by looking at this production you can tell that these people went through some sort of tragedy, but are working recovery. It’s a subtle aspect to the film but it’s one that I really appreciated.

What lets Divergent down is the issues I have already addressed, although this seems like and original and interesting story, Divergent is essentially the foundations for what, Hollywood hopes, is another multimillion dollar cash cow franchise. If this world that Veronica Roth created was allowed to reach its full potential without hindrance by big business I feel like this film could have been something truly great for the ages, instead it is something that is just adequate. Maybe my opinion will change when the inevitable sequels come my way. But for now i will say this is a perfectly good film, on its own with a strong, intelligent, brilliantly played female lead, awesome visuals and great action to be enjoyed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi With a Message, 25 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
I thought this was a good stab at creating a dystopian future society. It captured very well the feeling of being different and having to hide this in a society where roles and behaviour are prescribed by a system. The characterisation was believable and I think the director was justified in spending quite a long time setting up the story by dwelling on the recruits training. Which was why I felt disappointed that the ending was so rushed. While I'm not a great fan of sequels, this film could have upped the ante and left the ending on a cliff hanger at the point when the take over is complete and all seems lost for the main protagonists. If ever a film needed an ending like this it is this one. Perhaps this story would have been more suited to a TV series because that is an ideal format to develop a slower narrative pace and set up repeated cliff hangers.

Like Enders Game, which initially appears to be little more than an extended video game, this film leaves the viewer with quite profound questions about conforming to an ideal of loyalty to the state and its often dubious motivations. It also attempts to show how empathy for others can sometimes lead people to question the kind of propaganda that is used to justify discrimination and conformity.

Some have complained that the attractiveness of the leads takes away from the divergent message but I think that's besides the point considering that classics like Blade Runner, Alien and every other big budget Hollywood production have cast attractive leads. Hollywood is built on conformity and stereotypes but still manages, at times, to rise above this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was worth a watch but maybe better to rent than buy., 18 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
I liked it and am interested in a follow up if one comes about, just feels a bit like a poor mans Hunger Games. Without trying to spoil the plot it spends a very long time setting the scene but then resolves the 'big issue' in no time. A few other themes are dealt this way too.

Was worth a watch but maybe better to rent than buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 29 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
Crap teenage movie full of cliches.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU CHOSE US, NOW WE CHOOSE YOU, 9 April 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Divergent [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
In the future, after an unnamed war, Brave New World Chicago becomes a walled city nation. There are 5 factions or work groups in this tiered society. People can choose which one they want to be in, after they go through a Sorting Hat test. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) discovers she is a "divergent" i.e. someone who doesn't neatly fit into any group. Bummer about the DNA. Divergents are hunted and killed.

Beatrice hides this fact and joins a group of muscle headed protectors, changes her name to Tris and gets a tattoo. She enters a unisex "Starship Troopers" dorm where she will train and either make the grade or get cut and join the factionless beggars. Much of the film centers around her training and of course she meets a boy (Theo James) who helps her along the way until things go awry.

The production steals from a number of different pop culture iconic films/books. At times it was groan worthy. Having said that, I did enjoy the film, even while groaning through so many scenes. This was clearly aimed at teens, especially teen girls.

The film is worth seeing as a wannabe iconic production. 3 1/2 stars
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Divergent [DVD] [2014]
Divergent [DVD] [2014] by Neil Burger (DVD - 2014)
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