Lead Actors: Shailene Woodley, Theo James
Executive Producer: John J. Kelley
In a Post-apocalyptic, war-torn society that is a sliver of a modern-day earth city, presumably Chicago, we meet Tris, played by Shaileene Woodley.
She is a waifish teen who still has baby fat on her arms. She lives with a family that has chosen the caste that gives and nurtures this new society.
We meet Tris the night before she is tested and gets to choose her place in this new society - kind of like taking the SATS, getting your score and then immediately choosing your college and career path within a matter of two hours.
In one of many heart-warming scenes, her mother, played brilliantly by Ashly Judd, and her father, played well by Tony Goldwyn (the guy who played the bad guy who contract kills Patrick Swayze in Ghost) tell Tris and her brother that they love them and trust them to choose wisely the next day.
This rites of passage scene reminded me of the night before leaving for college.
Tony Goldwyn in Ghost
The next day we learn that Tris can choose between five different castes, but once she chooses, she cannot change. Wisdom and common sense suggest that she follow the path of her peaceful but humble parents. But when the Dauntless caste- or the people who are trained and designated to protect the society, show up, we can tell where Tris wants to be.
The dauntless are cool, rambunctious, and free. Indeed, anytime they're in public, they present the same type of front that the United States miliatary does - they make being a soldier seem cool and desirable without demonstrating the tough parts right away.
In a war-torn society, the Dauntless are fearless and free, they are energetic and make a huge show any time they enter the scene. While Tris' caste teaches her to be humble (they can only look in the mirror 30 seconds a day), the Dauntless are flashy.
Tris joins Dauntless in a ceremony by cutting her hand and letting the blood drip onto burning hot coals. When the equivalent of basic boot camp starts, Tris realizes that Dauntless it is not exactly what she thought it was. The training is tough and at times deadly.
What's worse is that Tris' exam held a darker secret. A secret that if the wrong people find the results to, she could be executed.
Who Would Like it and Why
Fans of good acting mixed with action. Kate Winslet and Ashley Judd are just some of the proven actors to appear in this movie that was made for teenie boppers. The more mature actors manage to keep the movie grounded and real, while the younger actors do all the great stunts.
Who Might not Like it and Why
This movie projects a failed world, and it is post appocalyptic and harsh. This may depress some people.
There is a zip-lining scene in which Tris pretty much ziplines from Sears tower for about two miles to the ground. This was exciting.
Two Mike and Ikes