Thursday, August 13, 2015

Movie Review: Insurgent

Title: The Divergent Series: Insurgent  
Based on the Novel by Veronica Roth
Directed By: Robert Schwntke 
Written By: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback 
Produced By: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shabazian 
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet
Genre: Action, Dystopia
Distributed By: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate
Now on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and the rest of the power-hungry Erudites, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) search for allies and answers in the ruins of Chicago. They must find out what Tris' family sacrificed their lives to protect and why the Erudites will do anything to stop them. Side by side, Tris and Four face one seemingly insurmountable challenge after another, as they unravel the secrets of the past and -- ultimately -- the future of their world.

Okay, okay. Shame on me, right? Didn't this movie come out months ago?! Yes, it did. I just never had the chance to see it in theaters because I was really busy in the spring.

Like I said, this review might be a little late because the movie was released in theaters in March, but I'm reviewing the movie for the people who, like me, missed the opportunity to see Insurgent in theaters and are now catching up either through Redbox rentals or by purchasing the film at their favorite retailer.

My Review


Action. Suspense. Deception. Romance. Mourning. When it comes to entertainment value, the second installment in the Divergent film series really delivers, and will make for a great stay-in movie night option this fall.

The first thing a reader of Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy will notice about Insurgent is how much it differs from the novel. Now, coming from someone who took a class called Literary Pirates (seriously... one of the coolest classes ever!), I'm saying that this is not a bad thing! 

Wait, what? Did you read that right? Yes, you did. I am telling you right now that I think it's okay for a film to differ from the book. Sometimes taking a risk and veering slightly off course is a good thing that can be done in Hollywood when adapting books, and in the case of Insurgent, I really liked the changes.

The Box
One big difference many of you are already aware of is the inclusion of the box that Jeanine is so desperate to find and open. This entire part of the film intrigued me because it added a new layer to the world that Roth created, and I think it was a risk that paid off. I found myself intently watching as Tris is forced to interact with the box, and honestly, those scenes were some of my favorite in the film because they created suspense, and because a movie-goers who read the books wouldn't even be able to guess what could come of it.
Now the acting... I might be slightly biased in saying that I really like Shailene Woodley as Tris. Yes, she looks like your typical-girl-next door, and I think that works for her. Remember, Tris is not going to be one-hundred percent bad-ass. She grew in Abnegation and is Divergent. Woodley doesn't seem like she has to dig deep down to portray all the emotions that Tris goes through in the second Divergent film. They are just there. Theo James also does an good job as Four, but my favorite actor/actress in the film series so far just has to be Kate Winslet. I'll admit that when she was cast way back when, I thought I wouldn't enjoy her as Jeanine Matthews. She does a great job at playing the villain but still keeping it the character a calm, cool, and collected politician.

I'm not saying the film is perfect, though. It definitely has its flaws that will upset the very serious Divergent fans (you know who you are, and you probably saw the movie on opening day) because even I was disappointed with a few parts. There are many characters (once again) whose roles were minimized, and it's upsetting to see. Yes, I understand that time is a factor, but some of the characters had key roles in the book, and when you see how little screen time they get in the movie, it's a very strange feeling. It really does feel as if pieces are missing.

So... Is adding Insurgent to your DVD/BluRay or digital library worth it? I really think this decision depends on who you are and how many changes you can put up with as a bookish movie watcher. If you wanted the film to follow the book very closely, I say rent it to see if you like it. If you think you'll like the many changes, go for the purchase! I enjoyed the film, and I'm intrigued to see where they take the series when Allegiant: Part I hits the silver screen.
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