Sunday, March 30, 2014

Divergent: movie review

(Butt pose poster. Because it makes me laugh.)

I just went and saw Divergent with my friends. Well, it wasn't a disaster, I can assure you that at the very least. If you want to read my review of the book from forever ago here, and that doesn't have any spoilers…(I think?)  But from here on out THIS review WILL have ALL THE SPOILERS FROM THE BOOK AND MOVIE. :)

You have been cautioned.
(And I'm sorry but there is bad language in here.)

And as always, I'll try to make this organized, but you know how that doesn't ever actually work. I try. There will be word vomits.

Final rating: 
4 out of 5 stars for fans of the book.
3 out of 5 for those who haven't read the book.

What was changed/left out/added:

  • A lot. There were in fact many of the same scenes, but they sort of mixed them up weirdly sometimes, which I didn't think was necessary. Not BAD per say, but…why. The order they were written in…were written in that order for a reason.
  • Visiting Day did not exist. And that's one of my favorite scenes in the book! Damn. There was a made-up scene that became a weak weak replacement for it, but okay fine.
  • Why our rating is lower for people who haven't read the book. Well, SO much of what Tris explains about the WHYS of things make the story about ten times as rich. Yes I know it's a movie and is different than the book, but even small things like why she got her tattoos of three hawks along her collarbone because they symbolized her family members dear to her heart…see there wasn't an easy way to convey that, and I understand? But it's more than just "ooh I'm a badass and 16 so I'll get a tattoo!" because it's NOT just that. That's one example.
  • Hm the end zombie-Dauntless part. When in the book, Tris goes into the control room and the scene's with just her and Four where he's under the new drug? Well they completely reinvented that. I didn't mind the change, because they did something good with it and made it more visually appealing and lasted about 30 minutes longer, but that may have bothered some people. It was completely different though.


  • The romance between Four and Tris didn't overwhelm the actual plot. *claps* and that is why I loved the book so much. If you remember, Four isn't even mentioned in the book blurb at all. Because this story is about HER and her character developing. Ohh tangent coming I can't stop it: I saw quite a few reviews claiming how it's "all about her finding herself so stupid" (that's slightly paraphrased) and I'm thinking while watching…well yes it's all about her finding herself, it's a fucking young adult novel and that is what that whole genre is for. Finding an identity and having an adventure and learning about yourself. Being a young adult is a very self-oriented lifestyle. (Assuming you're not Abnegation.)
  • Two of the three of us agreed on this point: The Pit was very different than we pictured. I'm not sure, I guess I just imagined it HUGE and made of a real 'chasm' and 'waterfall thing' not an indoor rock climbing gym. I'm sorry that was harsh. It wasn't bad. Overall all the sets and scenes were very authentic, and you can tell this movie actually had a budget. *coughthehostcough* Very impressed, there was no "um that's totally a stage" feeling. For me at least.
  • I loved the training scenes/initiation section of the book. Awesome! The training took a large amount of the book and movie and I'm glad they didn't cut much at all from that part. All the people looked greatly beat up, and also, realistically, not looking awesome and stable the whole time. Good Determined-Tris montage too in there. Initiation is almost 90% of the book, so thank you movie-people, for paying attention! (Yes, it could have been expanded upon, I know I wouldn't have minded watching a four hour Divergent movie if I got to see more fight practices.)
  • The fear simulations. They were well done and gave great insight. That's basically it. Especially Four's regarding his past. And Tris's last fear on her final test…..YES. I could watch that again.
  • Erudite. We just get a glimpse, but I remember from Insurgent I loved how we finally get to see a lot more of the other factions and lifestyles. The costumes/designs were great from what little we see, and I can tell it's going to be pretty awesome when there's more Candor and Amity.

Neutral opinions about:

  • Caleb. Could have been expanded. Wasn't in the trailer at all? I think he has potential though, because the actor isn't bad. Also where's his Erudite glasses (which according to the the general consensus of two people: it is pronounced ErUdite. Not ERUdite.) (we're probably wrong.) I look forward to seeing his character grow because his relationship with Tris is very…essential to certain things in the second and third book. Seriously. Just think on that for a sec. Caleb had better become more three dimensional. He has potential. I feel the need to say that twice to convey that did I like it.
  • I wish Tris talked with her friends more. I didn't get to know them as well as I'd have liked to. They're there and she does converse, and I am so thankful there wasn't an overwhelming amount of googley eyes between her and Four, but they (Christina, Will, Al, esp Peter) are still borderline for depth.
  • Parents dying. Not as heroic as it sounded in the book? It was all right? I didn't shed any tears. But when her mom died, damn she did some great acting.
  • Paintball! Okay. It was paintball in the book, but in the movie, they shot these wicked not-bullets that felt like you actually got shot, but only lasted a few hours. Very cool. That whole scene from the ferris wheel to the flag catching, I really liked. It showed how much everyone had improved, and set the skills from theory to actual use.
  • Last scene/ending. Sort of abrupt. But so was the book! 
  • Quotes. I'm always torn when quotes verbatim are used in movies. I reread Divergent the day before seeing it, so many lines of explanation rang bells in my head. For the most parts it was okay, there were only a couple lines, and I think they were Four's, that I thought were stupid. Oh! And near the end when Tris shoots Peter? Remember? Well in here she just kind of says something snarky and shoots him in the side, but in the book she shoots him in the hand and when Caleb asks if that was necessary, she responds neutrally (paraphrasing) "well I didn't shoot his leg, he can still walk to show us" which I liked much better. (again that's an extremely small peeve)


  • Opening scene…."CHICAGO"

…wait what. We are not told that. There are many references during the series to the Sears Tower and huge lima bean statue, etc (O'Hara), but Tris does not know her city is named Chicago. And now the audience knows. Not necessary. On the related subject on why they're in such a secluded city, some things were said which will alter the storyline a bit? (but that's more in later books so never mind for now.)

  • I'd say 80% of the music (because I'm a complete score/soundtrack critic snob) was okay. It wasn't as bad as the music for The Host. I only really noticed it because when a dramatic scene happened: (and hello action movie when isn't there a dramatic scene) there came this sort of epic Avatar music! Cut to scene for tattoo area: Futuristic Night Club Music! And then: Leftover Twilight Soundtrack! WTF.
  • Personally, I hated the aptitude test. This is near the beginning of the movie, and it was completely different than the book! So different!!! I hated all those weird mirrors and what what what. And Tori was an inconsistent character throughout, so none of it sat well with me. Unfortunately. The aptitude scene in the book was just as easy to make (coming from the person who can't upload something onto youtube) as the actual fear simulation, so I'm not sure why they decided to screw that up so badly.

Any specific character notes:

  • Let's see am I missing anything….OH RIGHT WHERE THE FUCK DID URIAH GO. If you look on the cast list, there isn't a Uriah. Did the writers read the second two books? Do they know how essential to the story he is and his friendship to Tris? They had his name on the board, so I'm now positive they will randomly add him in the second movie like oh yeah he was here the whole time. But he's so essential to gahhh I need to stop. My point is made.
  • So I found this slightly amusing. Shailene Woodley is in three different movies. This one she plays sister to Ansel Elgort. TFiOS they play lovers. In Divergent, she and Miles Teller are enemies and in The Spectacular now they're lovers. She is a great actress, and I'm now discovering she can play diverse characters, and isn't boxing herself into a genre. Go Shailene!
  • Second amusing thing I discovered during my late night pondering. What is it with the trend of YA books-to-movies where the lead love interest guy (actor) is English but plays American? Do you need examples? 
Twilight: yes
The Host: yes
Divergent: yes
City of Bones: yes
And I'm sure that's only the recent obvious ones. Well this fact made me laugh a little. Let's end on that happy note. Because I won't be the one to complain about the abundance of hot English dudes.


What are your thoughts? Besides commenting to complain how freaking long my movie rants are, because I know those thoughts are there. Did you enjoy the movie? How will the next one be...

And thanks for putting up with my (parenthesis addiction.)


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