Divergent fails to come together

If the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s bestseller, Divergent, was a food, it would be raw cabbage — bland and not quite what you want. If you’re a die-hard fan of the young-adult story about rebels in dystopian Chicago, I would suggest you not read any further because this review will be less than satisfactory to you, as the highly anticipated film was to me.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, the people of Chicago have been divided into five factions based on their dispositions — Abnegation (for the selfless), Amity (for the peaceful), Candor (for the always, and sometimes brutally, honest), Dauntless (for the brave) and Erudite (for the intelligent). All 16-year-olds must take an aptitude test that will tell them which of the five existing factions they are best suited for, but ultimately they decide for themselves, either choosing to remain with their family or transfer to a different faction.

The story follows protagonist, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), whose aptitude test proves inconclusive, making her a “Divergent,” a label which the tester begs her not to share with anyone under any circumstance (maybe if they had used a Sorting Hat this wouldn’t have happened).

Come Choosing Day, Beatrice, after much contemplation, decides on Dauntless. She shortens her name to Tris and throws herself into making it through the initiation tests of her faction. If you’re worried about plot spoilers, don’t. The film doesn’t really have a plot to spoil.

Somehow this movie has the astounding ability to both drag on and rush simultaneously. It doesn’t delve into detail for any part of the story. Watching it felt like viewing an awards show — a couple of cute or funny moments here and there, but basically you just want it over and out of your mind. Honestly, I was surprised. I expected a lot more from director Neil Burger, who wowed with The Illusionist, and I definitely expected a lot more from Woodley, who had unique spirit in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now. Even if the movie lacked energy almost entirely, it at least could’ve provided us girls with a sizzling romance between Woodley and Theo James, but alas, their chemistry felt forced. Watching Theo as Four was maybe the only truly enjoyable part of the film, and not because he gave a groundbreaking performance – he didn’t. But what he lacked in emotion and character he made up for with his face. I think if every girl got their own personal Theo James this world would be a much happier place.

Don’t see this movie if you expect to see plot twists, character development, or anything that would instill excitement within you (except Theo’s face and body, but we’ve been over this already). Sorry if I’m being too honest. I guess I would be a Candor.