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Kyla’s Movie Review

DIVERGENT (PG-13) - Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson, and Maggie Q. This is based on the YA novel by Veronica Roth. The setting is the near future in a Chicago that has been largely depopulated as a result of some kind of global catastrophe. A huge wall has been erected around the city, not just to keep out whatever may live over the horizon but perhaps also to keep the population in. Humans have been divided into five factions based on innate abilities: Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, and Candor. Then there are the “divergents,” those who show an affinity for more than one faction and are hunted because they don’t “fit.” Theoretically, the factions are intended to work together but unrest is brewing. Erudite believes its members should be in charge and are planning a coup to oust Abnegation from the top position. The film’s protagonist is Tris Prior (Woodley), the daughter of two prominent Abnegation leaders: (Judd and Goldwyn). We meet her at the time of her testing, when her aptitude for the factions will be assessed. She is revealed to be Divergent. She makes her choice and is immediately whisked away to undergo the grueling training necessary to join her new faction. Along the way, she makes friends like Four (James) and Christina (Kravitz) and enemies like Peter (Teller) and Eric (Courtney). She falls in love with Four while coming under the scrutiny of Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (Winslet). And, while trying to hide the truth about her aptitude, she becomes embroiled in the growing Erudite-led revolution. The movie succeeds because it creates a world where we want to learn more about it and even at 139 minutes the film has the feel of a book where you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. While Insurgent, the next in the series, is already in the works, the final book – Allegiant – will not be split into two movies. RATING: B+

NEED FOR SPEED (PG-13) - Starring Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, and Michael Keaton. This is based on the popular video game. Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a street racer who doesn’t seem to care about the people he inconveniences until his friend, Pete (Gilbertson), dies in a race. Tobey goes to jail while the villain behind the incident, Dino (Cooper), worms his way out of trouble with a fake alibi. After doing his time, Tobey emerges from behind bars with one goal: avenge Pete. That means getting even with Dino by beating him in an underground race called, The DeLeon. To do that, he has to travel from New York to San Francisco in 48 hours with a British blond (Poots) riding shotgun. There’s a bounty on him so all sorts of cars and trucks try to run him off the road. Then, upon reaching his destination, he must enter The DeLeon and go head-to-head against his rival. If you take the movie seriously, you won’t have any fun. It doesn’t make any sense, but still manages to entertain. The car chases, races and crashes are done without any CGI which is pretty impressive and will take your breath away. If you’re looking for a two hour escape and an action-packed movie, buckle up - this is the movie for you. RATING: B