DIVERGENT: Early Reviews Not Promising

Divergent Movie CompanionMuch speculation has gone in to whether the film adaptation of Divergent, which opens on Friday, will be the next Hunger Games, or will fizzle like The Mortal Instruments.

The trade reviews have just arrived and  they’re not promising.

The Hollywood Reporter — “… director Neil Burger struggles to fuse philosophy, awkward romance and brutal action. Even with star Shailene Woodley delivering the requisite toughness and magnetism, the clunky result is almost unrelentingly grim.”

Thompson on Hollywood — “… feels like a set-up for [the sequels], with an unconscionable amount of exposition and introduction. This is part of Divergent’s major problem: It’s not really a high-concept movie, and is trying to be one, hence its fuzzy impulses and skewed logic.”

The Wrap — the headline says it all — “A Little Hunger Games, a Little Harry Potter, a Lot of Dull.”

Variety — “Even though it stretches to nearly two-and-a-half hours and concludes with an extended gun battle, by the time Divergent ends, it still seems to be in the process of clearing its throat … Fans of the books will turn out for what should be a very profitable opening weekend, but with future installments already on the release calendar, the film’s B.O. tea leaves will surely be read with care.”

As to those tea leaves, Forbes says the message is clear and none of the above matters:

Forbes — “Divergent is, barring fan revolt, critic proof. And thanks to its reasonable budget, it’s almost word-of-mouth proof … The work was done in the marketing department, with Lionsgate securing the hype and mainstream attention that guaranteed that Divergent didn’t suffer the same fate as Beautiful Creatures or The Mortal Instruments … we’ve got the next big young-adult literary adaptation franchise on our hands.”

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