“Divergent” is yet another franchise based on young adult novels that is strikingly similar in structure, characters and tone to almost every other film in the same genre. It’s lack of originality is matched only by its glaring obvious metaphors and messages.
Watching this film felt like a repeat viewing instead of a new experience. With laughable ease, I was able to predict exactly what would happen and when. There’s just something about the perceived infallibility and invincibility of youth that is very off-putting and hard to watch — either in person or on the silver screen.
From a filmmaking point of view, there is almost nothing that lands outside of sub-mediocre range. The production design, score, cinematography and acting are all very run-of-the-mill. Granted, in a well-made movie those pieces shouldn’t draw individual attention because they are serving the greater experience. However, in “Divergent’s” case — a film about individualism that is plagued by conformity — a standout element would have been a welcome respite.
“Divergent” simply isn’t a film that elicits an overabundance of thought or discussion. While I am less-than-enthusiastic about Hollywood’s current frenzy to make young-adult movies, some part of me is tempted to jump on the bandwagon. It would an interesting experiment to see if I would be capable of writing a story like this and, maybe more importantly, if I could stomach the experience. If anyone wants to be the financial backer of a long-shot attempt at being the next big young adult story, shoot me an email.
3 of 6 stars