Divergent follows the story of Tris, a young woman living in a futuristic dystopia that has been divided into five fractions. Each fraction represents a different set of skills/abilities. When the person comes of age they must undergo a test to guide them into choosing the right fraction. When Tris' results are inconclusive she discovers that she is a divergent, a person who cannot fit into any group. She must hide to save everyone she loves, including herself.
As predictable as the film is, I actually really enjoyed it. The film was fairly predictable for the most part. It was fairly obvious who's really who and if a character will be dead in the next scene or two, but this doesn't make that large a dent in the overall film as there's a lot of fun to be had here. The film offers decent performances, exhilarating action and a dystopia that really drew me in and got me intrigued.
The performances in the film were fine for what they were. In a lot of young adult book adaptations the performances are just kind of ehh. They're not anything too special and in a lot of cases they can be below average, but in Divergent they're a step up from most young adult fantasy/adventure adaptations. I am a fan of Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and even Miles Teller in the few decent films that he's worked on. All of them give fairly decent performances too so there's nothing to complain about here.
The first two thirds of the movie are primarily training sequences and they can be exhilarating. There's plenty of action and fight scenes to go around throughout these intense training sequences The leaders in the fraction that Tris chooses are relentless for the entire time she's training and this brings for some exhilarating, heart racing action including a very fun game of capture the flag. It's not just the training either, there's plenty of scenes that I will not spoil that had me glued to the screen.
The film drew me into this world and had me hooked. I've never read the divergent books so I wasn't already part of the 'fandom' going around and I hadn't really seen a lot of footage for the film so when I was sucked into this world, I was literally surprised. Before seeing the movie I predicted that the length would be a problem because it just didn't sound like there was enough to do in this long time period, but boy was I wrong. The time flew by and I was sucked into another fictional world that I cared about and didn't really want to leave.
To sum up, Divergent was predictable, but this can be ignored because of the exhilarating action, the decent performances for what the film, the runtime flying by and the fact I was drawn into another fictional world and didn't want to leave.
3 1/2 Stars