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Bettie's Box Office: Divergent Review

Updated: Monday, June 2 2014, 10:37 PM CDT

The search for the next teen blockbuster may end on Friday. Early ticket sales for Divergent are rivaling the first Twilight film. Bettie Cross gives us her take on whether this could be the next Hunger Games, in today's Bettie's Box Office.

After the next global war, it’s dangerous to be different, or in other words: Divergent.

Post-war Chicago is a walled fortress. Its inhabitants are members of five individual groups, or factions. Based on personality tests, teenagers are required to choose a faction and leave their families behind. Are you more suited to the life of a farmer or a lawyer? Scientist or social worker? If the aptitude test shows you're Dauntless, you join the brutal ranks of the city's soldiers.

That's the choice for a seemingly quiet girl named Tris. She makes the unusual choice to join Dauntless and from the beginning it’s apparent that there’s something about Tris that doesn't quite fit.

The movie hits on all the themes of teen literature: things like coming of age, social standing and political suppression. It's a beige version of Hunger Games; the look is a little drab and the movie is a little long.

On the plus side, Shailene Woodley, who plays Tris, shows a nice range of emotions and makes Tris's transformation from wallflower to heroine believable. She and Theo James, who plays Four, also bring great chemistry to the screen.

James was in Austin for SXSW and during an interview about the action film he admits the stunts left him a little battered.

"I got to do pretty much everything in terms of my stunts because it was all combat. I think when you come home and you feel all bruised and broken you kind of feel, in a good way, like you've done it right," said James.

While fans of the book series will happily pay full price to see Divergent, the rest of us won't be daunted by the cost of a matinee.

Divergent opens in theaters on Friday, March 21. It is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality.

Bettie's Box Office: Divergent Review

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