The Borg Queen fires all phasers at a new release.
This movie failed to turn me into a fan of the latest young-adult-book-turned-to-movie craze. It is yet another teen romance in the context of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Rather than being divided into 12 (or 13) “districts,” though, the people are divided into 5 “factions” and live within the crumbles of what used to be Chicago (partially rebuilt and partially left in ruin) surrounded by a mysterious large fence. When the teens reach a certain age, they undergo some kind of testing that is supposed to tell them what “faction” they are predisposed to (selflessness, peacefulness, honesty, bravery, intelligence), and then the next day they have to choose which faction to live in, and cut ties with their family if they are in a different faction. The purpose of this segregation is supposedly to put people in their “place” in order to prevent another uprising. The story focuses upon Tris (Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now), born in the Abnegation faction. The Abnegation (selfless) faction apparently is the faction that governs all 5 factions, and Tris’s father is one of the leaders. When Tris undergoes the testing, it reveals that she is “divergent,” meaning she doesn’t fit squarely within any one particular faction – something that supposedly would make her difficult to “control” and a threat to their “everyone knows their place” society. So, she must lie about her test results to keep her “divergent” result a secret. On choosing day, Tris breaks away from her family and chooses a different faction, Dauntless (brave), which provides the “police” of the society. There, she encounters Four (Theo James, Underworld: Awakening), who is responsible for training the new members/recruits . . . and the typical teen romance develops with Tris. Kate Winslet (Little Children) plays Jeanine, the leader of the Erudite (intelligent) faction, which tries to overthrow the Abnegation faction. Overall, the acting in this movie was great, the special effects were great, and the story kept my interest. But at the same time, the story didn’t make any sense to me. Dividing people into the 5 factions based on personality traits (as they exist in mid-adolescence) that all people would seem to possess without a significant amount of variance made no sense to me. And they didn’t explain, at least not well, why Erudite wanted to overthrow Abnegation – especially when Jeanine is portrayed as someone who highly values a lack of uprising, yet is initiating an uprising herself. This is probably a movie you might enjoy more if you have read the books and already know the story. I left the movie feeling confused and disappointed.