Dauntless Is The Lamest Faction In ‘Divergent’. Discuss.

Don’t know anything about Divergent? Then just trust us on this one.

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Divergent, the latest big-budget adaptation of a bestselling YA series, opened in cinemas today, and it’s surprisingly entertaining, in an “I don’t really understand why kids are into this stuff, but I’ll try” kinda way. It’s led by an intriguing heroine, it’s ridiculously violent, and it’s packed with the same kinda gauntlet of action that’s made Hunger Games such an enjoyable franchise. But, for those unfamiliar with the novels (uh, ‘adults’), there’s one nagging annoyance that won’t leave your brain throughout the entire thing, and its name is ‘Dauntless’.

The film is set in a dystopian version of Chicago, surrounded by massive fences and divided into five goofily-titled factions that kids have to join based on their core inner virtues: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Erudite and Dauntless. When entering the ‘Choosing Ceremony’, our heroine, Beatrice/Tris (played in the film by Quinoa Goddess, Shailene Woodley) — a birth-right member of Abnegation, the selfless faction of rural charity cases — finds that her tests prove inconclusive, making her a rare ‘divergent’ who will never fit into any of the factions (and who everyone wants to kill, oh well). Free from familial constraints, she’s drawn in by the rebellious allure of athletic tough guys, Dauntless, and joins their ranks. Unfortunately for us, Dauntless are the biggest gang of douchewads around.

“Why would she choose to join Dauntless?”, you’ll ask yourself throughout the film, questioning the taste of an entire generation of young people. “They’re such knobheads.” Even Erudite, the evil smart folks, or Candor, who are basically a bunch of lawyers, look like enticing options compared to the angry gym club that is Dauntless. How annoying are Dauntless? Let us count the ways…

They’re really into parkour

Our first introduction to the menacing marauders of Dauntless finds the gang leaping off a speeding train, wooing and high-fiving like kids in a Coke commercial. They spend most of their lives jumping across city buildings, crawling into holes, and relentlessly running around the city streets like a dance flash mob. When they’re not ziplining across the city’s skyline, they’ll most likely be found back in their dank underground home, hitting punching bags or doing capoeira. I guess I can understand the allure of wanting to hang out with these guys, especially if you wish your whole life was a gym session or an ‘80s training montage.


They love power ballads

In their off-time, which seems to be about an hour before their 6:30pm bedtimes, the Dauntless crew like to hang out in their expansive Bronze-like recreational digs, where they sit around eating burgers and listening to hair metal power ballads. What a lame club! It’s like author Veronica Roth racked her brain for the epitome of edgy coolness, and came with a Sunset Strip nightclub out of 1987. I’m surprised there aren’t more silk scarves in Dauntless. Oh, they’re also really into Tame Impala.

Terrible tattoos are mandatory

Tattoos are big in Dauntless, everyone has one; they’re basically like a gang of food truck chefs. Four — Tris’s love interest (played by James Franco-on-roids-lookalike, Theo James) — sports a gigantic monstrosity that covers his whole back. Of course, it’s personally significant: “I don’t want to be just one thing,” he says, with sad eyes. “I can’t be.” Well, you’re kinda one thing right now, guy — a massive wanker with a shitty tattoo. Aussie actor Jai Courtney — who plays thick-necked bad guy, Eric — doesn’t fare much better, sporting a couple of block-y barcodes that you might find on an ex-goth.


They live in a dirty underground pit

Dauntless HQ is a depressing underground hellhole, especially compared to the open watermelon fields of Amity or the sun-drenched libraries of Erudite. Firstly, you’ve gotta enter it by jumping off a skyscraper, into a narrow hole and onto a trampoline (ugh, the world is a gym), and then you’re forced to share a block of unisex toilets that don’t even have cubicles, walls or doors! Since we don’t get any scenes of the Dauntless recruits shitting side-by-side, I can only imagine they’ve been backed up for weeks.

Part of their initiation routine involves induced panic attacks

This is the point where Tris should’ve been all like, “Fuck you, Dauntless. First you want me to shit next to Lenny Kravitz’s daughter, and now you’re gonna stick a syringe (shared needles, too!) in me and force me to face my deepest fears of swooping birds and drowning in a glass box for 20 minutes at a time? Nah, I’m going back to Abnegation. We don’t have many lightbulbs and we have no idea what hamburgers are, but at least we don’t have to deal with this bullshit.” Unfortunately, she doesn’t, probably because the movie would be really short if that happened.


Divergent is now showing in cinemas nationally.