Theo James

Maggie Q and Shailene Woodley in DIVERGENT

Let’s just get this out of the way. Divergent is not a good movie. And before you start lobbing accusations that YA adaptations never get a fair shake, know that the problem here isn’t that the film is aimed at teens. The issue is that the script, and presumably the source novel, are incredibly dumb. Post-war Chicago is a fractured place. It’s by design though as the survivors created a plan to ensure the people would never fight again. How? By crafting a system guaranteed to lead to war. Basically, everyone is born into one of five factions. Erudite is for brainiacs who look down their noses at those around them. Candor is for those who always tell the truth, a characteristic that we’re told (with a straight face) makes them the best lawyers. Dauntless are the parkour-loving punks who run and jump all over town while learning how to protect it from the possible threats beyond the great fence that surrounds the city. Amity are the peaceful farmers, a group apparently most notable for always being happy. Finally, Abnegation consists of the selfless, grey-wearing folk who give up mirror time in exchange for running the government. Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) is Abnegation born, but her heart belongs with the free-runners so she chooses Dauntless and changes her name to Tris. Her test results were inconclusive though, an outcome known as Divergent and something she has to keep secret. This essentially means she has varied interests and common sense enough to […]



One of the more useless trends to come around in the past few years is the “trailer for a trailer.” Trailers themselves are little teases for a film; a tease for a tease is redundant and unsatisfyingly brief. So it’s not super-surprising that the teaser for Divergent is pretty much useless. There’s so much to absorb here: multiple close-ups of Shailene Woodley, wide-eyed and vaguely upset. Someone takes an elbow to the face. Someone else gets flipped upside-down. The film’s name is mentioned, and then Woodley leaps a small gap in slow-motion. The end. Ideally, we’d be tiny glimpses of some nifty effects or set pieces that the trailer would showcase in far grander detail, but the only thing here that raises even the slightest bit of curiosity is some guy waving around some sort of fire-whip glow stick. The full trailer for Divergent premieres at the MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday, but it seems highly unlikely that seeing more of Divergent will be stirring up any real hype. Check it out below, and learn from Divergent‘s example: this is not the way to tease a film.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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