Coming to theatres this Friday in IMAX from director Neil Burger and Summit Entertainment’s highly anticipated film DIVERGENT.

This film tells the story of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a young woman who lives in a world that divides people into groups based on human virtues. The factions are Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity and Candor. Dauntless are brave and test their own limits but highly disciplined. Abnegation is selfless and peaceful, Erudite are intellectual and value knowledge, Amity is love and kindness and finally Candor which values honesty and say what they think.

But Tris learns she is a Divergent, meaning she doesn’t belong to any one group. Although born into the Abnegation she sees Dauntless as being free, which is what she seeks. At the choosing ceremony, which is where aptitude decides where one will live, Tris chooses Dauntless yet fears for her family.

Leaving mother Natalie (Ashley Judd), father Andrew (Tony Goldwyn) and brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) behind she starts a new life. Immediately Tris is drawn towards group leader Four (Theo James) and makes friends with Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Al (Christian Madsen).

She also discovers that Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) is on a mission to destroy all Divergents with the help of Dauntless leader Eric (Jai Courtney) and Max (Mekhi Phifer).

Now Tris and Four must gather the others to protect the innocent before it’s too late!

FINAL WORD: Woodley as Tris is exactly who I would have chosen to play the young Divergent. She brings so much to the role with her youth and wide-eyed charm until that charm turns to a young woman who can finally handle herself. Making her serious mark in the 2011 hit film THE DESCENDANTS and 2013’s SPECTACULAR NOW, Woodley definitely gets the screen time she deserves to make the role her own.

James as Four will have every female’s heart pounding followed by heavy sighs with the smoldering looks in all the close ups. From his first frame the girls/ladies in the audience were squealing with delight and goodness it was pure crazy when he pulled his shirt off. Does this distract from his acting? Nope, not for a second. James brings secrets with his character and keeps those secrets faithfully until its time for all to be revealed.

Winslet as Matthews was a little scary to watch with the bleached hair and very pale skin! Perhaps it was the bright blue outfit that helped but it was a little distracting. Without giving anything away I knew Winslet would hold her own.

Kravitz as Christina is a supportive friend (and yes her father is Lenny Kravitz of THE HUNGER GAMES fame and don’t think that fact is lost on me). Lloyd-Hughes as Will and Madsen as Al make their mark in the film and my interview with these two actors can be found at http://moviemaven.homstead.com.

Two actors good to see again on screen is Judd as Tris’ mother Natalie and Goldwyn as father Andrew.

Other cast include: Maggie Q as Tori, Ray Stevenson as Marcus, Amy Newbold as Molly, Ben Lamb as Edward, Rotimi as Ezra, and Justine Wachsberger as Lauren.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give DIVERGENT three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I’m not going to hide the fact that it felt a little like I was watching several films (THE HUNGER GAMES, THE HOST, HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT (minus the vampires/wolves although they could show up in the next film) rolled into this one.

That being said the story is deliberate in its telling not leaving anything question unanswered. I’m thrilled that it isn’t in 3D so that is also a good thing. The film comes in at 139 minutes and director Burger makes sure to use each one of those minutes wisely. There is plenty of action, the beginning of a romance and the good ole fashioned battle of good versus evil while still remaining true to self without labels. Is that a mouthful? Of course but DIVERGENT gives audience, especially those who have read the book, something to be thrilled about.

The second book INSURGENT is currently in pre-production with a release day of March 2015. The final book ALLEGIANT will be in bookstores October 2013 with the final installment in theatres March of 2016.

The three best selling book series is by first time author Veronica Roth. The books have been atop the New York Times Best Sellers list since 2011 and as of October 2013 has sold more than 455,000 copies. Something tells me once the movie comes out that number will skyrocket!

In the end – what makes you different can also make you dangerous!

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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