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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Divergent
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...
Published 7 months ago by L. Davidson

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Held Back by Business
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...
Published 3 months ago by bizmandan


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63 of 72 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
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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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13 of 15 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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5.0 out of 5 stars 'SUPERB SERIES-OPENER' (LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT INSTALMENT - 'INSURGENT'), 11 Aug. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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Glancing at some of the reviews the film has obviously been true to the 'Book' which is always good news.
Some time in the future many years after war had destroyed much of mankind, in the city once known as
'Chicago' now 'Dystopia' society are divided into five factions, which is determined by an aptitude test.
'Tris Prior' disappoints her parents when after the test she chooses to join the 'Dauntless' a group sworn
to help and protect the factions living within the fencing that surrounds the city.
Tris' must complete a series of gruelling and intense tests and trials to be accepted within the order, failure
is not an option, being in the bottom four in their section will see failures no longer able to return home, left
with no hope no home and no real place in society.
After a series of tests 'Tris' remains in the bottom four in her group and on the verge of being dropped from
the program.
One of the key members of the 'Dauntless' 'Four' befriends 'Tris' breaking ranks to help and encourage her
make it through the final trials.
Though she does face one more trial, she has to face her fears.
'Jeanine' a faction leader appears to be a friend when asking for 'Tris's' support, it becomes apparent during
their conversation 'Jeanine's' intention is to rid the city of 'Divergents'
'Tris' has never told anyone the outcome of her earlier aptitude test when she'd been told that she was a
'Divergent' which actually makes her an enemy of the faction leader - the Divergents are different and seen
as dangerous.
What control has Jeanine over the army of 'Dauntless' are there enemies within the faction.
'Tris' and 'Four' will have to unite to survive however they cannot do it alone, a price will be have to be paid
during the battle.
Tris played by - Shailene Woodley. Four played by Theo James. Jeanine played by Kate Winslet
This is an action-packed adventure that'll hold your attention leaving you wanting more.
Special Features -
* Faction before Blood' featurette.
* Audio commentary with director.
* Audio commentary with producers.
* Deleted scenes.
* Marketing gallery.
* Ellie Golding 'Beating Heart' Music Video.
Blu-ray Exclusives -
* Bringing 'Divergent to life' The making of.
* Meet Four featurette.
* The look of Divergent' featurette.
* Behind the scenes of Divergent featurette.
* Choice' featurette.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly lacking, 3 Feb. 2015
By 
Steve B (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
I loved the book that this film is based upon, but feel that the film is a very poor relation. So much of the book is about character interactions with the other 'Initiates' and how Tris develops as a person through these, but in the film you're barely even aware that the others have names, never mind characters!

There are other aspects where it fails, such as:

"Whoops, someone very close (won't add a spoiler) just got killed, and so onto the next scene" - Hello - major trauma just skipped over!

"I'm terrified of heights, so let's just walk casually from the middle of this narrow bridge to the building it's connected to" - totally unreal.

There were some bright spots - another death was handled so totally differently and I actually felt some solid emotion coming through which was a delightful breath of fresh air from the film. However, most of the film was emotionally flat in my opinion.

I really wanted to enjoy this movie after reading the book, but try as I could I found it flat and dull. :(

I'm sure some will truly enjoy this movie adaptation, but sadly I'm not one of them. I expect I'll watch the others but I'll not be holding my breath waiting for them to come out.
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6 of 7 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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable stylish teen dystopia despite flaws., 20 Mar. 2015
By 
FallenGrace (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
Divergent is actually based on the first of a series of Novels written by Veronica Roth, (I have yet to read them). They have a lot in common with the recent Hunger Games films (which I haven't seen, but have read). Having not read the books I passed on the film originally but as it's on Prime I gave it a go.

The film is set after an unspecified war which seems to have leveled earth and society as we know it. Chicago has been turned into a giant walled city to protect against unspecified dangers. The city government is split into five groups each representing a human trait, (honesty, intelligence, peace, courage, selflessness) each member goes through a test to deem which faction they are in to continue society, if you don't pass the test you become factionless, a form of homeless.

This entire set up and test is ridicuous. It implies that people only have one trait of strength, and if they don't fit they are completely useless and given nothing to do, even manual labour? How does that possibly work?

At 16 children take the faction test to see where they belong, faction before family. Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) gets an incredibly rare result, she has qualities of every faction (like normal people?) Making her a Divergent. Divergents are feared and hunted which is also never explained forcing Beatrice to hide what she is.

Hiding among Dauntless, the faction of courage which are essentially the city's soldiers, Beatrice is helped by Four (Theo James), a Dauntless member who knows who she is before they uncover a plot which could both destroy the city and endanger Beatrice's parents.

The story is full of holes and unexplained threads but despite that I rather enjoyed it. The training sessions where she learns to fight and go through test simulations are pretty action filled and the entire film has a pretty nice artistic flair to it. The acting is pretty decent with some likeable and unlikeable (intentionally) characters throughout.

Overall I didn't expect to enjoy this very much and came out pleasantly surprised. It's not a film I would really bother watching again but I think it's worth it if you're into this genre. I may have to give the book series a try.

Recommended if you can look past the large plot holes.

+ Some nice action scenes.
+ Training and simulation scenes are fun.
+ Great art style.

- Faction government makes no sense.
- Quite a lot of unexplained plot threads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best..., 23 April 2015
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
Watchable but also easily forgettable sadly... was really hoping it would have more impact, but found it rather predictable and annoyingly the other characters (apart from the main two) have no depth whatsoever, making their screen time feel totally worthless in the grand scheme of things. Bottom line - not terrible but you may come away feeling indifferent
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Divergent is to the hunger games what Battle Star Galactica ..., 22 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Divergent (Amazon Instant Video)
Divergent is to the hunger games what Battle Star Galactica is to Star Wars, trying to look the same, but quite rubbish
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could have done better, 8 May 2015
By 
Daisy Wheel "Irma" (Wales, United Kingdon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Divergent [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I watched the film before reading the book. I had certain criticisms of the film after I saw it. I thought the idea of the different factions was good and interesting enough but I thought they missed making more out of it somehow . When I realised later on that there was a book out, it occurred to me that perhaps it had been so well received and often read that the film makers decided to cut corners and focus only on the action and the two main actors. I have since read the book and there is so much more to it than was portrayed in the film which came off as just piece of science fiction material for want of a better word. I hardly recognised or remember the supporting actors which is probably what was meant to happen. I wish I had read the book first though so that I could have filled in the many blanks. This could have been an excellent film. The books could still be made into an excellent Series.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is really not a bad movie and I would describe it as slightly better ..., 29 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Divergent [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Don't take too much notice of the very strange reviews on IMDb, which criticise this film. It's becoming increasingly clear that postings on this site cannot be trusted and they may not be genuine. Returning to Divergent, this is really not a bad movie and I would describe it as slightly better than Twilight and roughly on the same level as the first Hunger Games.

The film is guilty of drawing ideas from other sci-fi movies and there are relatively few real surprises, but it's an okay watch. My main criticism, is the length of the film. It's much too long and would benefit from some trimming. Others may not agree with me.
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Divergent [DVD] [2014]
Divergent [DVD] [2014] by Neil Burger (DVD - 2014)
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