|Shailene Woodley (far right)|
This story is very character based. Audiences are introduced to a slew new people along the way and surprisingly it’s easy to follow. Plus, the actors play their roles with the right amount of charm to feel a connection to each of them, including the not so nice ones. Shailene Woodley as Tris is likable and is able to show genuine emotion when the time came. Tris also meets one of the leaders named Four (Theo James) who looks like a cross between Billy Zane and James Franco. He also gives his character the correct amount of enthusiasm to be interested in understanding more. The rest of the Dauntless crew that Tris gets to know is played by Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen and Zoë Kravitz, all of which give enjoyable human performances. Possibly one of the most likable jerks in this story however was Jai Courtney as Eric. His duo deadpan and mean spirited attitude make him one to be reckoned with and probably Courtney's best role thus far.
We also cannot forget the supporting characters played by the underrated Ray Stevenson, Tony Goldwyn, Mekhi Phifer and Kate Winslet. All of which have very minor roles but important ones nonetheless. What is really apparent about this character driven story was Neil Burger's direction of which the kinds of choices he had this character's make and the writing provided by Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)) and Vanessa Taylor (Hope Springs (2012)). The development was one of its strongest points. The cinematography by Alwin H. Küchler (DP of R.I.P.D. (2013)) looked decent as well. He was able to show the contrast between what people normally see on the surface and the underground operations people don't know about. Even with a minimal amount of special effects they too were integrated well into the movie. No complaints there.
|Jai Courtney as his punk self|
This movie is like the reversal of other fantasy films. It has a big cast with competent actors and writing that develops its characters effectively. With this, its supporting elements don't seem as exciting with average music and somewhat uninspired action scenes.
Points Earned --> 6:10