When it comes to the leading ladies of "Divergent" and "The Hunger Games" everyone agrees: They're not fooling around.
Shailene Woodley makes her fighting, jumping, and shooting debut as Tris in the latest YA book series-to-action film conversion. She doesn't have a bow-and-arrow, but rather a fearlessness verging on suicidal — she leaps off tall buildings and enters the ring with nothing but her bare fists. While clearly following in Katniss's footsteps, Woodley takes her character's physical displays to levels even beyond the heights Jennifer Lawrence has scaled.
But who is the greatest young heroine? Here's how the two compare:
Tris sees more action. Lawrence's "Hunger Games" warrior is savvy and impressive. And yes, like Tris, she goes through the ringer. But if you line up the two for a scene-for-scene comparison, Woodley's Tris gets into far more action.
"It would be an epic battle and I'd like to see it," said Woodley's "Divergent" love interest Theo James of a Tris vs. Katniss scenario during a recent interview with Yahoo Movies.
Woodley, who was actually convinced by Lawrence to take on the role, shied away from comparisons. But, she told Yahoo during an interview with the cast at the film's press day, she found the experience to be "powerful" and "special." Advantage: Tris
Tris loses. Woodley's character falls far short of the spotless victory record achieved by Katniss — who has now survived two deadly Hunger Games tournaments unscathed on the big screen.
"Tris, in this [first installment], is an initiate. She's just started her training," said Mekhi Phifer, who plays the head of the soldier faction called Dauntless. If it came down to a battle, Phifer reluctantly admitted to Yahoo Movies that Tris wouldn't win: "As of now, I would have to go with Katniss." Advantage: Katniss
Tris gets laid out. Her losses are dramatic in "Divergent." Tony Goldwyn, who plays Tris's father, explained it to us: "Tris starts out as someone who is not powerful, in fact, the opposite. When she gets into Dauntless and is forced into this initiation, she gets her ass kicked — and it's violent and brutal."
In one sequence, when Tris faces off with Peter (Miles Teller), she gets knocked out cold for several hours. Beaten and bruised, she's in much worse shape than we've ever seen Katniss — who has sustained a few scratches here and there. Advantage: Katniss
Tris invites danger. Unlike Katniss, Tris willingly leaves her rather docile faction, Abnegation, to try out for Dauntless — a group that scales buildings without harnesses, regularly jumps on and off moving trains, and generally values dangerous, daredevil deeds. Katniss only confronts danger when she is forced to; if given the choice, she would do away with the gory games altogether.
As much as Tris proves to be a scrapper in "Divergent," it's still not a fair fight between she and the much more experienced Katniss. We'll have to revisit this faceoff when Tris's skills are more developed in the sequel, "Insurgent," in theaters exactly a year from now. Advantage: Tris
The victor remains: Katniss Everdeen.
"I want to know who's going to pick up the scraps there and write the spinoff where they come together," joked "Divergent" star Jai Courtney, who plays a ruthless Dauntless leader.
"Divergent" punches its way into theaters on March 21.
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