Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Divergent

Divergent, on the whole, was okay. There was nothing truly bad in it, but that doesn’t mean it was all that good either. For one thing, a lot of the world felt underdeveloped and the characterization of the characters ranged from sparse to negligible, leaving us with jackasses who have no reason to be jackasses. The male lead in particular was quite cardboard and didn’t seem to have any chemistry with our female protagonist Triss, apart from when they were close and intimate. I’d even argue that a good chunk of the first half, in which Triss is trying to make it through the preliminary trials, felt unneeded and investment-free. Why should we want her to make it into this organization that resembles a fraternity in all the worst ways with a clearly corrupt leadership?

The movie really starts to shine in the final act where there were a lot more clever bits of the narrative, like dialogue and conflict resolution that I won’t give away. The resolution at the end in particular was well executed and, to its credit, was actually one of the things that I couldn’t see coming a mile away. So yeah, as far as young adult novel adaptations go, it’s passable. It’s not as good as The Hunger Games, but it’s certainly not as awful as The Mortal Instruments. Would I go see Insurgent? Yeah, but more out of curiosity and not because this movie made me a diehard fan.

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Reel Snippet – The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner was certainly engaging, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good. There’s the general “been there, done that” vibe felt throughout the movie, but it would have at least been salvageable if the characters had any, well, character. None of them really have any personality except for the stock ones of the protagonist, the guy mired in tradition, and the tagalong kid. Everyone else feels really flat and most don’t have clear motivations at all. The sole girl in the film was a complete nonentity and had no purpose whatsoever. I’m not going to harp on about the failure of the Bechdel Test because I consider that a very weak application of feminism and not really telling of any real progressiveness, but the fact that there are no other women in the film (with no explanation for why that is) just makes me scratch my head.

In fact, a lot of stuff isn’t explained well. Things are just thrown at you and it’s a flip of the coin whether you’ll get answers in this film or the next. There’s one part where the main character stumbles upon a strange wooden totem deep in the forest with the name George on it that was surrounded by bones, human and possibly otherwise. The film offered no explanation what it was and the way it was presented made it feel like it was going to pay off later. As such, I assumed that George was a boy brought into this mysterious commune early on, but then became a mad cannibal and forced the others to worship him as a god before the current leader assembled a band to overthrow and possibly kill him. And I’m not convinced that it wouldn’t have made a better movie.

The visuals are good, the twist at the end is nifty (that is, before something completely pointless and head-scratching happens), and I appreciate that the movie tried to diversify the surviving cast, but it brings absolutely nothing new to the table and leaves me with a resounding feeling of “meh.” While they were able to make an engaging scenario, they unfortunately weren’t able to make me give a crap.

Posted under Reel Snippets

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