Set sometime in the future in a world devastated by war, a group of human survivors has fortified the city of Chicago as their home base, and in order to keep the peace, they have separated the populace into five distinct groups based upon their personality traits. Candor is for those who seek the truth, Erudite is the intellectuals, Amity is for peace, Abnegation is for the selfless, and Dauntless is filled with thrill seekers who also serve as the security for the community. When Tris comes of age and must choose her “career,” her aptitude test shows her not fitting into one group. She is a Divergent (think square peg going into the round hole), and in the supposed utopian society, this causes problems—and all hell is going to break loose.

Summit Entertainment seems to have cornered the market on teen novel adaptations with its successful Twilight and Hunger Games franchises, and it looks like they have another hit on their hands. My teenage daughter absolutely loved the book series; she says the film’s character development is lacking by comparison and felt the movie should have been split into two, but the essence of the story is retained. Going in blind, I had nothing to compare it with and liked it quite a bit. While the thematic elements are nothing new, the action is pretty intense, and the ending sets things up for the next movie.

1114divergent.bpx.jpgShot digitally on Arri Alexa cameras, the video encode is pretty impressive, with outstanding sharpness and colors that pop off the screen. Detail in the actors’ faces and clothing are mesmerizing, while the CGI-intensive shots are slightly softer by comparison with the live action, which occasionally took me out of the movie. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack is fantastic from beginning to end. The foundation-shaking bass will give your subwoofer a good workout, and there are plenty of discrete effects that fly throughout the room.

The supplement package includes two audio commentaries—one with director Neil Burger, and the second with producers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick—along with five featurettes, some deleted scenes, a music video, and some marketing fluff (trailers and poster gallery).

I wasn’t a fan of the Twilight series at all, and The Hunger Games didn’t hook me until the second film, but I was really sucked into Divergent’s story from the outset and can’t wait to see what’s in store for our heroes in the next movie.

Studio: Summit Entertainment & Lionsgate, 2014
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Length: 139 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Neil Burger
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet