Divergent Series: Insurgent movie review
Like most YA novel adaptations, Divergent wasn’t grounded in any reality I recognized, yet the movie worked well enough. Fortunately, Insurgent had the luxury of skipping the frustrating (and stupid) exposition and let us get right into watching the heroes do what they do best. (Run, jump, punch, murder, etc.) It’s basically the same movie as the first one and yet more than the sum of its parts. Let me explain!
There’s a thing
In the first flick, there was a concept (the Divergents) and in this one, there’s an object that can only be opened by a special Divergent which pushes the plot forward right for the word go. A welcomed change from the first one.
More mind control
Like Divergent, Insurgent uses mind control to push the plot. I guess they don’t mess with what works.
More trials or whatever they call them
Tris goes back into the Matrix to do more Matrix stuff because she’s a special unique snowflake and only she can open the box which will undoubtedly contain something super obvious and disappointing. But yeah, more Matrix stuff – you see what I mean about this movie being the same as the first one?
This movie does have four things going for it:
Huh. Didn’t see that coming.
I was just about to criticize the movie for making the relationship between Tris and Four too safe, and then they started doing it. Well done, movie – I never thought there’d be a sex scene in one of these movies.
Nowhere is safe
I did like that the protagonists were constantly on the run, never able to get comfortable and danger around every corner. This helped with the pacing.
For all its problems, the movie never stands still – they’re literally always moving, going to the next place. It helps distract you from how stupid the story is and characters are.
Robert Schwentke’s directing
This is probably why I generally liked this movie – Schwentke can really direct. The visuals are exciting, the effects are working, the characters all maintain a cohesive tone (unlike Jupiter Ascending, which felt like the characters were existing in three different movies)… it just works. And it shouldn’t – that’s what’s really impressive.
The bottom line is this movie should be terrible and it’s not. I think the acting is fine, but the movie holds together in a way that can only be attributed to the directing and editing. It just moves well and I didn’t especially care that the only thing dumber in the flick than the plot was the characters because somehow, the movie made me like Tris and Four and hate Janine. It’s not as easy at it sounds (COUGH Percy Jackson COUGH). If you got through Divergent and didn’t hate it, I’d give Insurgent a look. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth a watch. I’m giving it a 6.5 out of 10; it’s harmless fun, which is kind of a miracle considering the script is trash.