Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

5 Movies Shamelessly Ripped Off by Divergent

The new sci-fi thriller for the teen set wears its adolescent mentality on its sleeve.

by
John Boot

Bio

March 21, 2014 - 3:00 pm
Page 1 of 5  Next ->   View as Single Page

This week’s derivative new dial-a-blockbuster is Divergent, which stars Shailene Woodley (George Clooney’s teen daughter in The Descendants) as a teen girl living in post-apocalyptic Chicago, where the remains of society have amicably organized into five factions in order to survive against an unseen enemy outside the walls of the city. Watching the movie, which is based on a novel that sold when its author Veronica Roth was 21, is like browsing the shelves at the video store, because almost everything in it seems like something you’ve seen done better elsewhere. Here’s a partial list of films that Divergent ripped off/was influenced by:

1. The Breakfast Club and teen movies in general.

Divergent (as you’d expect of such as young author) is firmly anchored in a high-school conception of society, which is divided into brains (called “Erudites”), student-government nerds (“Abnegation”), jocks (“Dauntless”), special-needs kids who play in the dirt (“Amity”) and chronic truth-tellers (“Candor”). In Roth’s conception, what matters most is finding a clique to belong to because the untouchables of her society are the lost souls wandering the perimeter who have no “faction” at all.

Question: Who thinks about cliques as anything but a dumb high-school thing, much less an organizing principle for humanity?

Divergent even gives each clique its own limited color palette, with the brainiacs using cool blues, the jockish Dauntless in tight, athletic black gear and the rustic, gentle Amity in autumnal hues suggesting harvest time.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Hunger Games Cereal is a natural for the kiddies. Arrowhead-shaped bits of gluten-free oatcakes. "Compete and trade with other kids for the 12 different regional box designs."

That's a money-maker right there.

"They're always after me - tragically delicious."
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Question: Who thinks about cliques as anything but a dumb high-school thing, much less an organizing principle for humanity?"

Progressives. It's one of the many reasons that they are vile.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know a post-apocalyptic Breakfast Club might be pretty cool. Especially if it involved zombies.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Of course, The Hunger Games is already a ripoff of "The Lottery" and "Battle Royale" so...
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welcome to the universe. Every story that can be told has been told so every movie or story is derivative of some other. The only question is, was the rewrite creative in it's handling of the reused concepts and did it make you want to keep reading/watching it. If there are two yes answers then good on it. Complaining about someone's story/movie being derivative is pretty much a waste of motion.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the creative rewrite makes it a trope, instead of derivative.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Divergent has a script written by Rod Serling and a director who mixed science fiction, Tracy-Hepburn screwball comedy, and stations of the cross of a hero who starts out as a misanthrope, becomes the reluctant savior of humanity and ends up a tragic dupe, then I would be willing to discuss it with Planet of the Apes.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was thinking of seeing it but you might have talked me out of it. Especially if it's anything like Inception.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
The trailer talked me out of it.

PS - The trailer is very hunger-games-ish, but it was the second part that turned me off.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hunger Games Cereal is a natural for the kiddies. Arrowhead-shaped bits of gluten-free oatcakes. "Compete and trade with other kids for the 12 different regional box designs."

That's a money-maker right there.

"They're always after me - tragically delicious."
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fail Burton...oh go ahead, rub in your Marketing Genius!! :)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Twilight Pre-Teen Vampire Flakes.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll admit that I thought of the Sorting Hat scene when I saw the Bowl scene in Divergent, but "shamelessly ripped off"? Seriously? There is enough different about each of these cases that I'd say even "inspired by" is a bit of a stretch. All of these concepts are not unique, nor original to the movies you name as being ripped off. They reoccur because we already recognize them. They may not be the "great themes," such as good versus evil, but I doubt you can find a decent piece of literature that doesn't contain at least one of these concepts.
Divergent is clearly an anti-pigeon-holing screed, thus the focus on tribes, cliques, or whatever. I think it's rather ham-fisted in it's attempt, but for an adolescent audience, sometimes a little blunt needs to be done.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
By the time they get around to doing "insurgent" and Allegient" you will come to understand that it is, indeed, about good and evil. Oh, and about the excesses of big government, too. Think of Chicago as humans in a U.S. Government designed petri dish.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Question: Who thinks about cliques as anything but a dumb high-school thing, much less an organizing principle for humanity?"

Answer: India had a caste system for thousands of years. And yes, that was a dumb thing.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sooooo, then ... is segregation anything other than cliques, either self-imposed or other-initiated? White flight is one symptom of clique-hood, while having affirmative action rules rammed down society's throat is another symptom. I guess a clique in this context would be the further breaking down of like-minded within a certain similar group, but it seem to me that there has to be some sort of Darwinian survival thing going on to account for world-wide instances of like choosing like and casting out The Other.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The very dual-identity, and very over and over and over again, Superman, Batman, Zorro and a number of others all "rip off" the Scarlet Pimpernel.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was given the book for Christmas. Just okay. Seemed like sort of a second-rate Hunger Games, but even more adolescent in tone.
Why are trilogies all the rage all of a sudden?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All of a sudden? Everyone knows what their getting, both producer and consumer. Plus you kind of get paid for your last book, kind of like in baseball.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting that John Boot makes the point that Divergent is ripped off from five other movies. Russ Leatherman, who does the "Moviefone.com"; website, said pretty much the same thing - but chose different movies as the exemplars of "ripping off".

But what's the old saying; copy for one person, and it's plagiarism. Copy from a dozen, and it's called "research".
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Artists do not steal...they are "influenced."
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ancient Greeks gave us just about every plot line used throughout history. Change the names, file off the serial numbers, get the book advance or the Hollywood option. Rinse and repeat.

(It's only the ancient Greeks that get the credit here - undoubtedly, they grabbed most of their ideas from even earlier cultures. We just don't happen to have any of their literature.)
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would, just for fun, be interested in some examples.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really? I seem to recall being taught that in a college Shakespeare class, that Uncle Bill got there firstest with the mostest. But since the Greeks are older than Shakespeare and Bill didn't write about Oedipal complexes I'm willing to cede the point. (Unless Hamlet was Oedipal ...?)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All