Following true to my pattern of being the last girl on earth to see popular blockbusters, I’m ready to talk Insurgent. Finally, last week I put it into my laptop, snuggled in and hit play.
Insurgent (2015) Film Review
Beginning just where Divergent left off, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her gang of Dauntless rebels are in hiding. Tris is haunted by the choices of her past, including the blood on her hands and the death of her mother. It doesn’t help that fellow Dauntless member, Peter (Miles Teller) taunts her about everything. Taking a bit of control, Tris chops off her hair and tries to keep her boyfriend, Four (Theo James) from discovering her nightmares. Freedom doesn’t last long and close on its heels is discovery when fraction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) finds Tris and her friends.
Escaping thanks in part to Peter’s distraction, Tris, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Four set out to find the rest of Dauntless. Only Four is the one who winds up surprised when he is forced to take shelter with his mother (Naomi Watts), a woman with an agenda of her own…
Given that I’m watching these movies without benefit of reading the books, I probably have a different perspective. I remember when this played in theaters fans were crushed over the divergence the script took from the book. These many months later, while finally watching this, I can say, I still easily prefer this dystopian story to The Hunger Games. I can get behind this one more and feel more invested in the characters as well as the romance. Then there is Katniss, who is far too staid though I do understand why she’s that way. Tris has more fire, more personality and though she may run the wrong way at times, at least she’s inciting a change with a purpose.
I don’t want to be divergent anymore. I just want to feel safe again. – Tris
This film is much different than Divergent because Tris spends a good portion of it suspended in a virtual reality. Like our protagonist, once this section begins, we have to pause and wonder whether what we’re seeing is real or imagined, most often it’s the latter. The primary reason I adore this franchise so well is because of the romance. Four’s and Tris’ romantic liaison is more settled and mature than more young adult novels give us. Do they fight? Yes. But I never feel like I’m about to combust because one of the parties keeps their feelings a secret or they’re being stupid. Theirs is a relationship with more wisdom than its peers and I like this.‘INSURGENT’ (2015) #FWarchives Click To Tweet
RELATED FILM REVIEW | ‘Divergent’ (2014)
But naturally, this film is about more than romance. It’s about a young heroine with unique powers, and a bleeding heart that makes her stronger. I don’t know what differs from the film vs. book storytelling, but a Google search reveal Movie Insurgent’s infinite differences. I thought the story it tells is good. The cast and characters are both extremely interesting. I’m most intrigued by Peter with his flip-flopping alliances and cannot help but love-to-hate him. One character disappointed me, but no one in the cast seems a weak link. Theo and Shailene lead what is, really, a brilliant cast. While watching this, I was reminded how funny it is to know that Shailene has played leading lady to two of the men in this film; Miles and Ansel (The Fault in our Stars), who she now plays sister to.
Anyone who likes dystopian worlds is certain to like this adaptation. It works nicely because it gives Tris time to grieve, to consider what her life was. She came away stronger (hopefully) and is ready to walk into what she’d like to believe is a better future. Naturally that’s not likely what’s in store for our heroine, but this script does have a purpose whether it follows protocol or not. There is a time and place for creativity, and I do applaud this as a film entity. I feel like I’d even admire this had I read the book because generally I respect creativity. Though not as spectacular as its predecessor, Insurgent has plenty of “wow” moments, and slower yet equally important poignant tearjerkers. It helped drive and sell the characters which is more than some word-for-word adaptations can say.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)
You can find Insurgent digitally on Amazon Video
What did you think of this movie? Do you like the idea that part one and part two of the finale now have two separate titles? Share any of your thoughts on this series down below.
Content: there is one sensual scene – a couple begins to undress and kiss before the camera cuts away, all without catching anything graphic. There is a scene or two of an unmarried couple lying in bed, sleeping. There is plenty of “violence” or fighting though again, nothing is overly disturbing; people are shot with sleeping potions, others are forced to commit suicide. Multiple virtual realities involve tense situations and people free falling through the air. Hand to hand combat features in the film’s primary action scenes. The film is PG13.