Thursday, April 10, 2014

April 10 2014 - Divergence film review

Just finished Divergence. My notes in chronological order: 
Movie starts off exactly like the bad narration of Superman Man of steel.
Already setting differences between "intelligent" group vs. sort of others, and creating
the protagonist with the "non intelligent grunts". A typical "Bad B movie" concept since black and
white films...

Film is sort of hunger gamesish, where the young take a "test" in their social circles. This will tell who get's cut out
of their village and into a social fitting. So far it is based on "Courage, Confidence" and other personality factors. OF course,
they put a little political spin on it like some kid is all "So you give our food to the poor? I hear you keep it for your selves".

Also, they do the hunger games "in the future but wearing peasant clothing" sort of deal.

The test involves drinking a shot of hallucinogenic drug. Where she plays with a dog. Then "fails the test" when she walks up. The "test" does not
"work" on her and she has to "trust herself". Giving it time to 'splain since we are only 15 min in.

"You have to think of the family but you also have to thing for yourself." says her brother. Her parents warn her to take care of herself because one "faction" is
putting the pressure on theirs. Since the Tris, the main character, did not get a test result, she does not know what faction to join in the graduation ceremony (where you
cut your hand and let the blood drop in a voting bowl). So she chooses at random, the most physical one (versus intelligence, etc..). They all run and train hop and take suicide jumps as
initiation etc. She seems decently adapted for it... As she arrives at her faction she takes the lead by "going first" in the imitation suicide jump (mystery hole with safety net at bottom).
I was thinking, ok, a society that separates physical people vs smart people??
Then the leader comes out: "I usually work in Intelligence but I a here to work with you". Ummm. So he is brains and brawn?? Another 1950's B film error.
SO many questions as the group of initiates settle in this new "faction". Why do they know all the customs at certain times but are "mystified" at others. Why are they learning faction propaganda
that is based on "Stand up for each other. Respect it. DO us proud"... Did they not already train all their school days for this? They already entered with the costume? IS there a school for it???
IS it really just "you are of age so you take the social test"? I could almost get into this film and have an emotion called "suspense" if they explained that they are all NEW, (like me the protagonist), but since
they did not you do not know to feel "afraid" during the tests for just the girl, or the group as a whole...IT is odd. So I am guessing and just "accepting" by filling the holes with the power of imagination.

They start training in arms and are told new recruits will be cut systematically and be faction less. Faction less people in this world live like poor. No food, social status, etc. They are seen crowded in shadows,
begging, etc.. But It is odd because even this faction she is in is not really luxurious. They live in a factory. And what about her test results?? IS there no administration in the future? Is this the future or just a different planet?
If this is the future...It is a hell of allot easiest to get into college (if this is college). Just run with the kids into the door XD

So during one of the factory training scenes, Tris has a hand to hand combat fight. We have to be nervous for her because loser gets cut. She loses the fight. They have rank board to see who is slacking. Tris is in the last rank
and she could drop out next physical test.

While discussing the "we could lose any moment. Let's get tatoos". XD I guess this IS aimed at college kid audience?

Next scenes 40 min in, training. "Your weak. You have no muscle" says trainer as he touches her. Uh oh. Possible love interest? The noobie failure Trus ans the hard core intelligence trainer?

The entire system is pretty bad. They take these 18 looking ish students and then train them hard core in strength tests. Like one girl just gets punched out. And to discipline her the trainer throws her off a bridge and she has to hang on for her life
until she is rescued. So you just have to "learn" muscle through abuse? This is the opposite of training. Also, if this is the LIFE of the future. Wouldn't it be smarter if they are inducted at birth? What is the purpose of waiting? Just to get weak unprepared students? IF they are "chosen" through
drinking hallucinogens?? Nothing is making sense other than they needed a premise for a bad script.

Allot of typical "old film" lingo: "Think he would let you off without a scratch?" Seriously waiting for "Golly, That would be swell". Not that is bad, but it feels like some one is following film 101. I blame the writers strike for the brain drain of today's forgettable films. Because honestly,
50 min. in, I already forgot what the start is about or why I should care.

So some leader admi. Chick walks in and says "congratulations, on your test". "You know my test results?" "OF course". So apparently her results were forged by the test person who helped her escape. Then she over hears "Divergers are being hunted"...Then cut scene to a battle scene. Again, unfair matches,
some guy beats Tris down and she has no marks on her... She is then disqualified from the team. I never understood the rank order. Just other guys assuming the rules. The entire candidature seemed independent and self leaders. To just bow down before the new leaders guys seemed odd and I Think what is killing this film is JUST that point.
These guys could easily over take the two "drill sergeants". Did they anticipate the military hierarchy? Are the other factions like that? Was the movie just created for our "they are all brainwashed into rank and order society, no explanation needed".???
The film kind of flops with these logical holes. Even turning brain off won't work, there are allot of plot holes and voids. Just there becuase it is "something.".
Exactly 1 HOUR in the film and NOTHING has developed. You have no sense they training has paid off. They are abused, not trained, to start with, nothing progressing there, and now 1 hour in, the only thing developing is the potential love interest. I am not sure how, but Tris gets back on the team after being banished by seeking onto the next training mission.

The training mission consists of fake SWAT tactics. Cheesy scenes like guy catches girl off guard: "Tell me if this hurts", then he looks around to see Tris behind him "You tell me" she says and shoots him. MOVIE classic error 101 again, why look around? Who tipped you off? Cheese scene for that "oompf". Trish and her team win of course.And she takes this zip line
victory ride back to base. Where she almost dies because she did not pull the brake at the end. And we see in special effects how the brake heats up when she pulls the chord....Was that necessary? Why did we get detailed shot of that? Did the audience not believe the stop was a hard one to pull off if we did not see the little animated brakes heat up? Things like this distract,
and fill the "holes" in this film. The next scene Tris passes, just barely based on that nights victory.

It has not happened to much yet, but I have a have a feeling they are going to soon fight an epic battle where they will pull off ninja fly around super man moves, based on the idea they "passed a training"..but that would be stupid as they had no real training!
AS she is packing her belongs after graduation and moving to stage 2 of training. Her mom is hiding in the station and says "look how strong you are" and touches her arm. How did she get strong??? she did nothing but get a TATOO! She did no exercise, got beat down, and ran...Confused. Did I miss something?

Her mom explains she cant tell any one her test results are divergent because divergence are hunted. And explains some people are born not prepared for social brain test culture. But so far the brain tests don't really do anything except a one time vision quest. At least 71 min. in that is the case. Of course as a while this entire premise is just used because they need to show
one simple trait: "Strength and courage through a non conformer". BUt this message is LOST and FAILED because she WANTS to conform. So she is only failing her brain test...so by conforming to a cause and wanting in, but biologically non conforming to a test sends a conflicting image. She does past her second test brain test with the best result. Creepily that is like the subliminal message you want
obama care, and you should take the medical implant to scan your info on if you want in. And how you fight and wish you had it. So far there is no true "rebel against the system". It is just abuse. Wanting the system.

80 min. in gets even more stupid. Twilight stupid. They ask her questions: and she just shakes her head and does the vague look "I dunno". Response. During a brain test she taps on a glass to break out. "How did you get out of the glass"? asks the instructor. "I dunno" she says...YOU TAPPED ON IT! Why not respond normal?

This little fact also shows they know what the tests are that are being injected. Apparently if you do not suffer in them you are a divergent and you are hunted. So if I come conclusions 80min in a 131 min film, divergence are weak, social outcasts and no power, but if they are powerful enough to not be brain tested normally than what sort of control do the successful ones have? They seem to be as equally
sane as some one that failed the test. USe the little words they add like: "Faction before blood", and this film attempts to put patriotism with chemical submissiveness and military training and...too much. Pick one. TWO at most and let the themes you want naturally be developed! The films a little too lost in itself and not wanting to step out of the 101 movie rules. Which makes you feel like you have seen
it all before. And rally...85 min now, you have...Gonna need a plot twist.

SO she gets ambushed as people get suspicious of her test results. And her lover boy faction leader saves her. Not a twist, but a very foreseeable plot line since they were flirting it up.

They explain a little now of the "dark plot" if you will. One faction leader admin chick, says "Do you like your faction? I am glad. Do you miss your family? yes? Oh well you know, Faction over blood". Tris replies: "You do not believe in human nature?" "Human nature is a weakness I want to erdaicate that to create a sustainable society. You want to help me yes?"
But how???!! Not one scene has shown that any divergence people are killed, hunted, or under threat.

How can she sentimental, much less the audience, to "divergers" if she is raised in a society where being in a social faction or death is normal? Do we just "feel bad" for divergence people because they are "outsiders?" what if outsiders are actually indeed bad for the social system? Because as of now, they just are non brain scan passers. See I would be more emotional
about the plot if they showed that passing the test actually enslaved or brainwashed people. In fact, if she was in a dram land fighting brain washing demons while trying to fight her outside social demons, THAT WOULD BE AN AWESOME FILM. Instead we get..."DO A CLOSE UP OF the rip sting brakes getting hot from the fall"...What...

Soon the love interest wants to hook up Tris and him to the same brain test to see how she functions. He apparently learns and is ok that she is a test failure after another test failure commits suicide. He wants to "prevent more deaths". Whattt? Ok, so here we go...

Just an excuse to show that her lover had a overbearing father that beat him into shape. Again, no explanation as to what these tests are, how they actually segregate others from others...and now that I am thinking about it, why did the test administrator at the start of the film permit Tris to pass knowing she failed? The error could cost her her life...oh yeah... no movie is she ended it there. You would think they would have police just outside to kill
the failures...

So then she teams up now with love interest that reveals the faction is stocking up on computer equipment and liquid to make people more susceptible to suggestive thoughts...wait...A vial of liquid? Were the mind entering computers and "see your hallucinations on the screen" not enough??? also this her big test day where the entire faction leaders get to watch her test on screen...So why not do this on the first test? What changes now? None of her training is ever used in the damn dreams.
Do the other factions do this? Especially the more "intellectual" ones? Do they have dreams of Number Munchers 3D? Whatttttt....


So to show she can break the dream without cheating. She does simple things. Like when in a glass barrier, she taps on it and it breaks. She learned she has to be more "subtle" so she stuffs the pipe pumping in water with her jacket...ta da! Out smarted! She passes the big test when told to shoot her friend to be in when she had an illusion of not being an illusion. She pulled the trigger and is in the real world.

So the next day, they are in line and get a neck shot of a motion tracker before really being accepted in the faction. Then that night, everyone gets up like zombies and packs into a train. We now learn the entire test was to give up your brain to be controlled by the military. Her and her BF have to act "brain washed" and march with the zombies as they grab guns and get packed into a train and sent to some urban district and sent to massacre the innocent "divergent humans" or humans that can't be enslaved.
She wants to find her parents. So she breaks off her troops to find em. Now, at this point "OHH IT ALL MAKES SENSE" kicks in. But does it really? Was this brain washing a result of the brain tests? or the Tracking device. The tracking device was a "new procedure" so obviously that was the factor. So in her attempt to find parents she is discovered because boyfriend had an ego trip when a superior faced them. They are taken directly to the evil admin. office where, typically, we pose questions and get answers: "Why are you killing these innocent people"?
And she explains "to clean human nature and restore peace". What? There was a war? there is a war? faction war? there was never a faction war shown. In fact, it is chosen at college level so it works together what? what? just excuses to fight what?

She gets taken out to get executed by 4 guys... her mom saves her.

Mom and daughter team then fight to survive. Time to find father even though mom just said "he is ok". What?

Mom gets a new air hole as she is shot through and dies. Guess being in a B spring film is killer ehehehe.

So now Tis runs around. Oh we area ll equally as lost as her. So, what is important? her BF? finding dad? exposing the faction? stopping the faction? finding out what is brain draining the people? What is going on? Oh well, she has a gun and is off to save dad, all that matters last 20 min of a film I guess..

She has a master plan to gather her dad and rest of survivors of the attack, well apparently just her dad and her bro... to attack "the fortress". XD

Now she tries to get into "Im tough revenge" mode, and her character was all" DURHHH" Twilight chick mode. It feels strange now and she plays it bad.

Her dad clears a room of guards blocking the "brain control room". And dies in the process. XD

Just a brother left now. She is in the brain room. Repeat. She is in the brain room.

Oh gosh, her BF is strapped to a chair, and the evil chick comes in explaining his brain is washed and is on her side now. She does the typical villan "LEt me explain all muahahah". And she says he is chemically controlled and walks out and some dude starts typing a kayboard and commands the BF to attack her.

She turns the gun on her self and gives it to BF because his weakness was that he can not be controlled to kill an innocent in his brain tests, so he snaps out of it, and the project fails, so evil chick starts pressing more random buttons as guards get beat down. Yes...FIlm 101...

Evil girl tries to program all soldiers to kill all innocents on the field before Tris and BF beat her down. She refuses and says willing to die. Tris finds a "suggestion" fluid gun so randomly on the floor, and uses in on evil chick: "I am not dumb, I am divergent". And evil chick starts crying and panicking because
her PC is broke. She tries to do a final attack, and gets pucnhed out. Then BF and Tris run, and just leave Evil lady on the floor. Yes, Divergent does actually mean DUMB despite what she just so wittily said. Why leave the bad guy alive??? she killed closer friends for her cuase than this evil chick, there is no reason to leave her alive! Stupid. Squeal time?

And then the end she leaves on teh train in peace and talks about a world with no faction. BF says "I know exactly who you are". "Are you sure about that?" "yeah". Then she does a little speech about not having a faction, but having each other and not knowing where to go but, like a faction they will take a chance and just jump..WHAT??????????????

So yeah,
That is the entire movie. It was not TOO bad, and I saw worse this year. And in general I like the music and concept was engaged just enough by it. But there are so many hiccups and plot holes and questions that it sort of ruins the over all experience for me.
I would say watch it. Why not. No one actor really stands out. No one anything is memorable, but I was just talking about with some one how hunger games 2 should have been about her life in the "rich land" and get befriended and then betrayed and fight her way out, instead of that stupid battle royal ending. If this film was called
Hunger Games 2 and about how to abduct people into hunger games while the chick was learning things on the rich society, that would have been cool; This film had the concept of how to realize that, but since it is to late...you get pooddiddles. But not that bad. I sort of recommend it, viewer be advised, no depth. 

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