Year: 2014
Rating: PG-13
Length: 139 minutes / 2.31 hours

While The Hunger Games really cornered the market in the “young adult dystopian future” category, many authors jumped on the bandwagon to cash in on this phenomenon. I’ll admit that many of these series that got movie adaptations I had never heard of before and likely will not see/read. The Divergent series, though did stand out as the top of “the rest”.

It can be difficult to create a dystopian world, especially one that’s at least somewhat set in our current one. The CGI-modified Chicago looks pretty good for a city that’s been through what it has, but where the computer imagery really comes to shine is in the dream sequences. I would have liked them to be a little more obvious so the audience isn’t always guessing if it’s a dream or not, but that’s part of the charm, I suppose. Having since read the book this was based on, I do have to say that the director made some good decisions on what areas to cut in order to keep the intent of the book, but at a pace that works better for a film. In fact, the dream sequences were even more difficult to pin down in the book than they were in the movie, so the film did a good job with that.

However, this film still struggles with the “teenage angst” that many YA adaptations have. Of course, because of this and the aforementioned CGI, this film does get the feeling like it’s a mashup of The Hunger Games and Avatar: The Last Airbender. That being said, the plot and societal structure felt thoroughly thought out and it truly helped distinguish between character archetypes when they are connected to specific colors.

Surprisingly well-developed plot and characters with a good visual feel, I give Divergent 4.0 stars out of 5.

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