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'Divergent' is deeper and better than advertised

Divergent movie poster
Divergent movie posterSummit Entertainment

Divergent

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No one should advocate for someone else to lose their job, but Summit Entertainment should seriously reconsider ever using whoever cut the trailer to their newest movie, "Divergent" opening today, March 21, ever again! It is difficult to start a review with bad news; but, it is my impression that whoever cut the trailer for Summit Entertainement’s newest movie, opening today, should never do such work again. “Divergent” producers should not depend on the trailer for enticing crowds to see the movie.

The best word to describe any of the trailers made for the movie would be standard. They have the look and feel of movie trailers you have seen dozens of times over. There is nothing about them that would make you go see it. Diehard fans of the books on which it is based may get some excitement from these efforts; but, really, the trailers make the movie look bad. Many people are referring to it as a "Hunger Games" wannabe, and that's not a label you really want. The movie is no "Hunger Games." But, it is actually, despite the very low expectations the trailers create, it is a really enjoyable time in the cinema.

"Divergent" takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. After "The War," society is now broken up into five factions. It is the duty of everyone at the age of 16 to take a test to determine which faction they are best suited for and then ultimately choose which one they want to belong to for the rest of their lives. This system is what now keeps the peace.

One the day Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is to take her test, she is surprised to find her test results are "inconclusive." This means she is Divergent and puts her life in great danger because it means she is someone the government can't control. She still chooses a faction to be a part of, but soon learns of a plot that threatens the very fabric of the current society.

The trailer to "Divergent" makes use of overly-dramatic music while laying out the plot and a few stale scenes of action. The movie goes way deeper than that. One of the best charms of the movie is how well the plot of the movie is compared to the life many teenagers are experiencing right now for real. It explores what it feels like not to belong to one "clique," the uncertainty of where one is going in their life, finding that first boyfriend/girlfriend, bullying and many of the other anxieties teenagers face today. It is easy to understand how these books have become a worldwide best seller. Even though this story takes place in the future, it is filled with characters teenagers can relate to and certainly grownups will also recognize this world they once belong to too.

Neil Burger does a good job directing and helps to make Beatrice a character the audience can root for as she tries to make it in her new faction. Shailene Woodley is still a relative new face, but she showed some great acting chops last year in "The Spectacular Now" (Her co-star in that movie, Miles Teller is also in this movie.) and fans of the book should agree she was a great choice to bring this character to life.

Hopefully good word of mouth will spread about "Divergent." despite the lousy marketing campaign. Even the movie poster, which chose to make Woodley's butt one of the attractions in the movie, was a bad choice for promoting “Divergent.” Early critical reception is reportedly mixed and one can't help but wonder if the campaign to sell this movie had an influence on that. The only real problem with the movie is in the editing, as it does run longer than it should (The training sequences go way too long.). Other than that, the filmmakers put together a good cast, which does have some good action sequences filled with tension. The movie deserves a fair shot. It is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality