I will admit upfront that I did not re-read the novel before going and seeing the film. It has been a solid two years since I finished the book and I had forgotten nearly everything that happened prior to entering the theatre. This, however, did not stop me from going to see the movie tonight. And I definitely have mixed opinions on it.
Insurgent is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2014 adaption of the first book in the world-famous Divergent Trilogy. With a hot cast (both hot in fame, and in looks), an action packed plot and – what’s that? – a dystopian theme, it was always bound to be a hit in the box office. But whether or not it’s a hit because of the book’s fame (most likely) or because it’s genuinely a good film? That’s questionable.
Insurgent begins just after the events of the first film, however unlike the previous, it wasn’t entirely clear what was happening if you hadn’t read the books first. New characters were introduced left right and centre, giving viewers little chance to understand who everyone was before moving back into the action packed plot, and political issues that were brought up in the first film expanded and grew more and more complicated. By the end of the film, I was asking myself what everyone was fighting for in the first place. The world was not built and expanded on enough to fully grasp what was happening.
What the film was really missing was depth. There was a lack of dialogue and impromptu, pointless romantic scenes between Tris and Four that did absolutely nothing for the plot. With such a strong cast, it was incredibly disappointing to see such a lack of depth within characters. It felt too cliche, and although it is a movie aimed at teens, it was as though they thought they had to dumb down certain things for, what turned out to be, an average climax.
The ending disappointed me the most, as this is the part of the book I do remember. Things were left out and other things were added in that make me wonder how on earth they are going to make another film – let alone two?! They completely cut things that are supposed to happen later on, and ended the movie with no real cliffhanger which was a real shame.
What did make this movie for me was the “sims” (virtual reality simulations) that Tris endures during the film. These made way for some seriously impressive special effects. Although, it definitely did not bring the film back enough for me to enjoy it more.
Overall, Insurgent is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an entertaining, action-packed film, however if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial and engaging, I’d give it a miss. Hopefully they can bring it back with the third film and continue building this world for the film audience, something they did not do well in this instalment, and that’s what really let them down.