by Jordana Ossad | Thu., Mar. 20, 2014 6:10 AM
Get ready to pick your faction because Divergent is almost here.
The big-budget flick, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, hits some lucky theaters on Thursday night and will be released nationwide on Friday. A wave of reviews poured in earlier this week, with the majority saying Woodley and James give strong performances. But some critics seemed bored with the film adaptation and compared it to The Hunger Games trilogy, but added that fans of Veronica Roth's young adult novel will be pleased with Neil Burger's dystopia creation.
Here is a sampling of more reviews that are coming in for Divergent:
Entertainment Weekly writes, "The first half of Divergent is a lean, exciting basic-training thriller, with Tris willing herself to do things like jump aboard speeding trains and fight with her bare knuckles. Woodley, at every turn, lets us feel as if we're in her shoes, not so much Dauntless as thrillingly daunted. The second half of the movie goes on a bit, with too many rote combat scenes. Yet the director, Neil Burger (the fanciful craftsman who made Limitless and The Illusionist), keeps you invested, staging a rise-of-the-savior-heroine plot so that it seems less ritualistic than it does in the Hunger Games films."
The New York Post thinks Divergent is "a clumsy, humorless and shamelessly derivative sci-fi thriller." Critic Lou Lemenick adds that "the film's best sequence comes when Tris joins Dauntless, and jumps from a moving elevated train onto a rooftop, and then deep into a building (this is not a film for acrophobics). Unfortunately, most of her training takes place in 'The Pit,' which looks very much like an '80s health club, complete with rock-climbing walls."
Film.com states that the story is "over-plotty, convoluted, full of unanswered questions and unquestioned assumption—is a big part of the problem here, but director Neil Burger (Limitless) pulls off a neat trick here, in that Divergent is a pretty diverting piece of moviemaking pulled from a not-especially-good story. All of the factions have the kind of names you'd expect to see on a 50-cent vial of men's room vending machine cologne; the 5-sided, color-coded world Roth creates is as hokey as anything Gene Roddenberry came up for the worst episodes of Star Trek."
The Chicago Tribune declares James is the "best thing" in the film and "the generic bulk of Divergent hits its marks and moves on. Woodley—excellent in The Descendants and The Spectacular Now, where she played the bitchiest and the nicest young women on the planet, respectively—has the stuff it takes to anchor one of these dystopian jobbies. Here's hoping the second movie, scheduled to be released a year from now, rebels against the establishment in more ways than one."
Are you excited to see Divergent? Sound off in the comments!
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