Roofstander: The Movie.
"What Makes You Different, Makes You Dangerous."

Fortunately there is no chance of anyone or anything becoming dangerous in this movie, as there is nothing unique or different happening. Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today I'm going to talk about the impossibly long-running film Divergent (it is STILL in theaters for some reason) Starring the always bland and uninteresting Shailene Woodley, who is attempting to assert herself on the big screen after her turn on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which I assume people must have watched because she is still working. Divergent is the latest in the string of adaptations of young adult novels with stubborn strong willed female protagonists who go against the establishment, in order to change their dystopic future society. If I sound so jaded that it even comes through in text, that's because I feel like we can probably explore some other narrative space at this point. I'm sure likable female protagonists can think of something ELSE to do, other than lead a future revolution. Divergent is the first book in a trilogy (all three of which are being filmed) taking place in a world that was almost totally annihilated. In order to organize the post-apocalyptic civilization, individuals are split into one of five factions. Erudites are the smarties, Dauntless are the soldiers, Amity are the happy fieldworkers, Candor are the lawyers, and Abnegation are the selfless public servants and leaders. Also there is a substantial body of factionless refuse that no one seems troubled about, but I guess it's a hard knock life in the future. Beatrice (Woodley) is about to turn 16, and so will soon take the aptitude test and choose what faction she belongs to. Her parents belong to Abnegation, and they are currently in some sort of cold war with Erudite, who as near as I can tell are a bunch of smug douchebags who think they should own the world. Tris ends up getting three different results when she takes her test, meaning that she is divergent. This is not good, and divergent people tend to get disappeared. Beatrice is warned not to tell anyone.

It's established early that she is
a pisspoor shot, so everyone duck!
Beatrice decides to do what any 16 year old would, and rebel by leaving her family behind to join Dauntless, and change her name to Tris, which sounds edgier and no doubt makes her more popular with all the boys or something, or doesn't because she doesn't care about boys, I don't know which really who cares. Anyway, as soon as she enters Dauntless, what I learn is that the post apocalyptic society will be administrated exactly like a cliquey high school lunchroom. It is incredible just how intensely juvenile most of the proceedings in the movie are, especially given that what is progressing is a life or death competition to become full members of Dauntless, or to instead die or become factionless (which as near as the movie shows us is basically the same as being dead as far as anyone else is concerned). There's lots of hazing, bullying, and other general nonsense, that will no doubt remind you of every stupid thing that happened to you (or that you did) when you were a teenager.Eventually through a series of training montages, we see Tris become a competent member of Dauntless, but her divergent-ness continues to haunt her, as well as the obligation she feels for her parents, who are threatened by the schemings of Erudite and Kate Winslet (who is the principal antagonist of the film, alongside the alpha douche that trains the new Dauntless recruits.

Eventually as you'd expect, Tris' dark secret about how she's a unique snowflake comes out, and she has to fight against an evil plot by the Erudites to control everyone's minds with some crazy mind serum, because they want to rule the future world because they're so sinister and smart. Fortunately Tris has the help of her sexy instructor/obvious love interest Four, who is also different and super amazing at everything because he's such a swell guy and has a dark and mysterious past. The climax involves an uprising, people getting shot, and Tris leaving behind her innocence in order to blah blah who cares I think you've gotten the picture at this point. The movie was unremarkable, typical, and incredibly petty and juvenile. The movie doesn't even give an especially good look at the post apocalyptic world in general, basically all you see is the Dauntless initiation and then the cliche climax of the film, where characters die from absolutely preventable situations. The best part of the movie for me was when Tris punched Kate Winslet at the end, and the audience in the theater cheered. 

A looooot of weird rapey vibe in this movie.
Bottom line? Skip Divergent, and probably you can also skip Insurgent and Allegiant (which unfortunately will be heading our way in the next two years). That's it for now! Join me again when I talk about Oculus, and why it's never a good idea to hang a huge spooky mirror in your study.

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