Shailene Woodley stars as Beatrice, a member of an alleged post-apocalyptic society where people are divided up into factions-Abnegation (The Selfless), Erudite (The Intelligent), Amity (The Peaceful), Candor (The Honest) and Dauntless (The Brave). This is another tween action movie based on young adult novels (written by Veronica Roth), and it’s a super dud. Directed by Neil Burger, the whole enterprise is remarkably lacking in tension, humor, creativity, originality and focus. Kate Winslet shows up as Jeanine, an Erudite with a mysterious whiff of evil. I imagine she’s the Darth Vader of this silly saga. Miles Teller (Woodley’s The Spectacular Now costar) gets what feels like a tacked on role with Peter, a member of Dauntless who gives Beatrice a hard time. It’s hard to watch these two very talented performers slumming in such stereotypical, unexciting parts. It’s a muddled affair that looks downright bad at times. It’s a tween wannabe franchise completely lacking teeth with a good central female star in the lead. I have faith that Woodley can pull this one out of the fire and make it worthwhile in future installments. I also have faith that I never want to see this flat first chapter again, unless I have a really bad cold and need something to knock me out.
Director: Neil Burger
Producer: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian, John Kelly and Rachel Shane
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen, Amy Newbold and Ben Lamb