Following the hysteria of The Hunger Games’ success, the film industry seemed to be throwing every possible young adult book adaption at us in every direction. Divergent, written by Veronica Roth was turned into a movie with Shailene Woodley as the lead female protagonist. Upon its release, we couldn’t be more sceptical, all thinking to ourselves ‘oh here we go, a movie trying to sponge of the HG franchise again’ but boy were we surprised. With these sort of franchises, it’s always a big risk to pool lots of money into making a big blockbuster only for it to tank because it’s ‘sponging’ off someone else’s success. Divergent was released as a blockbuster but had none of the conventional themes of one, almost like The Hunger Games, there was no serious explosions and despite being a YA fiction, the love story only really kicked in towards the end.
Due to the success of the movie, the sequel Insurgent began production and fans began to anticipate the films release. A trailer was put up and the fandom exploded, even friends that I’ve known for a while with no interest in films have said ‘I can’t wait for this, looks epic’.
The trailer on first look, for me looked very appealing and high budget and also very thrilling, partly to do with a great trailer song. When I watched it for the second time, I looked at it in abject horror at the over stylised CGI and high budget materials used in the film, it didn’t even feel like Divergent anymore. More like Hollywood sinking its claws into a perfectly good movie and shouting ‘you know what this film needs? Money’.
And when Hollywood catches wind of a movie you like, it’ll do practically anything to make a sequel to that film. Even if we hate Insurgent, the final instalment Allegiant will probably be made because we liked Divergent so much. With the unfortunate exception of Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones which had its production stalled for almost 2 years now. The reason for this is most likely due to the directors switching from Neil Berger to Robert Schwentke which could result in a movie that has more action themes, since he has directed R.I.P.D and Red; both are films with action as their central thesis.
And now what could have been a good film (and I am by no means ruling out this film, we’ll have to wait till March 20th for that) has become an overblown action mess that will most likely deviate from the books because the studio says it should. Hopefully, we will all be pleasantly surprised by the latest instalment and have our high expectations met.