Excerpt: Is it me, or do all Young Adult literary series share some similarities, such as being unnecessarily and extremely long, insisting that our characters live in dystopia, and be really, really dumb?
Excerpt: Even at nearly two and a half hours, Divergent is never able to find its footing. On the contrary, it only devolves further as it goes. Just when it nearly stumbles into a bizarre allegory for the Khmer Rouge, it shifts again into the clumsiest action movie in the world (Ashley Judd was not meant to be an action star).
Excerpt: Elements derived from science fiction classics as diverse as LOGAN’S RUN, STARSHIP TROOPERS and more fuse to create a sort of Cliff Note’s version of dystopia, a background against which the likable and dynamic Woodley plays out the usual YA fantasy about finding your voice and deciding to stand out from the overwhelming peer pressure to conform.
Excerpt: In spite of the worrisome points in its outlook and lumpy story development that threatens to grind pace to a halt more than once, ultimately I found this much more enjoyable than the popular but consistently mishandled Hunger Games films.
Excerpt: Divergent may be more adequate than divergent, but it’s fitfully diverting and more mature than juvenile. It fits the bill, so that’s a step in the right direction before “Insurgent” and “Allegiant” come around.
Excerpt: The YA franchise wannabe du jour is Divergent, allegedly adapted from the first book of a trilogy by Veronica Roth. I write “allegedly” because I don’t think she’s a real person. Neither is Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer and their countless other clones. Of course you’ll see pictures of them if you Googled their names but I believe we must be in for a long con by the YA publishing industry.
Excerpt: The film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent doesn’t have the depth to succeed on the same level as Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, it has enough interesting flourishes to entertain, if not necessarily to inform.
Excerpt: The theme of a teenage heroine stepping up to the plate as she challenges the authority’s status quo in the name of the disillusioned masses has that “been there, done that” cynical sentiment.
Excerpt: Shailene Woodly has proven herself in down-to-earth dramas. Now the challenge for Shailene Woodley is to see if she can buoy a dry popcorn entertainment. That test comes in Divergent, an otherwise standard post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller that is not exactly original, but is brought out of the doldrums almost exclusively by Woodley’s unforced performance.