With a wave of young adult franchise adaptations hitting the silver screen, Rob Partridge sees how ‘Divergent’ weighs up next against the rest.
It is practically impossible not to draw similarities between Divergent and The Hunger Games, given that both films are set in a dystopian future where strong female protagonists fight for their lives. Right now it feels like Hollywood producers are taking film franchises and saying: “That was good but we can do better.” More often than not they fail. A great Battle Royale became a mediocre Hunger Games (although the author is mostly to blame there), which has now become a passable Divergent.
That being said any film that has Theo James, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Jai Courtney in it is going to get me to stick my hairy posterior on a cinema seat, so I can drool into my popcorn at their gorgeousness.
On the female front, Divergent sees Shailene Woodley take on the role of Beatrice Prior (in my head I always hear Beatrix Potter), who lives in one of the five societal factions that arose after the Great War.
Does anyone remember Jai Courtney as Varro in Spartacus: Blood and Sand? The blond curls didn’t suit him at all, but those tight leather jockstraps certainly did!
Sorry, I digress.
So the five factions are based on different virtues, to maintain peace and order. Beatrice lives in the happy, selfless faction. Suffice to say, something happens that takes her away from that faction and turns her into a fighter.
Woodley takes on her role well, but the character is nothing new and hardly deep and meaningful. Keep an eye out for Miles Teller as Peter, ignoring the fact he was in that disappointing Project X. (He’s the new Reed Richards in the Fantastic Four reboot. It’ll be interesting to say the least – Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm? Oh-kay.)
Jai Courtney is gorgeous throughout. The graphics are pleasing and the effects are nice. Yes, I used the word nice. Kate Winslet is as brilliant as ever, but it really feels like she’s just trying to hold everything together for everyone else.
Divergent is nice way to spend 139 minutes, but don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before. Did I mention Jai Courtney is in it?
Divergent hits cinemas on April 4.
Rob Partridge (no relation to Alan!) Face of an angel, heart of lion, pecs like dinner plates, mind of a whore. Bear of sorts, flâneur of walks, writer of crap. Usually found fighting with his inner child. Often mistaken for Whoopi Goldberg. WLTM similar for Twix sharing. Seen at @RobDoofus during the waking hours.
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