Movie Reviews

The “Divergent” Film Series (2014) Had Great Potential

Divergent Had Great Potential

The first book in the Divergent series was released in 2011 with its movie adaptation coming out in theaters in early 2014. This was the perfect time for this series due to the rising interest in teen dystopian stories at that time— competing with The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner

Divergent was off to a strong start. They had a strong cast leading the new series, an interesting plot, and a strong main relationship. This was also an interactive series where fans could take quizzes to see which Faction they would belong in— Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, or Erudite. The first film was filled with fantastic action scenes and stunning visuals. Unfortunately it seemed to only go downhill from there. 

Rather than keeping it simple, the series had many villains / antagonists that complicated the plot. Sometimes storylines that work well in books do not translate well on screen. Where The Maze Runner made numerous changes from the source material, it seemed that Divergent tried their best to keep as much true to the book as possible. Usually I love this about book to movie adaptations, but with a book clocking in at over 500 pages, there is too much context that gets lost when you try to fit everything into a two hour film. This resulted in storylines being forgotten, main characters acting out of character, and relationships losing development. 

When the final book in the series Allegiant was released, it left fans feeling shocking and betrayed. I will not give any spoilers for those that have not read the books, but the series has a tragic ending. Unfortunately the film series was never completed. Like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter, Divergent planned to split the final book into two movies. When Allegiant did not perform well at the box office, the final movie was dropped. 

This series had a promising beginning complete with captivating build up for the rest of the series. It is disappointing that there was not enough payoff. 

In hindsight, it would have been better to drop the film series after Divergent. That film adaptation was enjoyable and left off on a hopeful note that was open for fans to infer what would happen next. 

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