Insurgent (2015)

October 23, 2015

Following true to my pattern of being the last girl on earth to watch the popular blockbusters, I took normalcy a step further with this popular blockbuster hit. I
bought a copy of Insurgent its first
week to DVD and waited… and waited …and, well, you see the trend. Finally, last
week I put it into my laptop,
snuggled in and hit play. 

FILM REVIEW: Divergent (2014)

Beginning just where Divergent
left off, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her gang of Dauntless rebels
are in hiding among one of the fractions. 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 she is still suffering 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, all of whom are scattered
about the fractions. 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 than most fans. 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
(in two parts), I can say, I still easily
prefer this YA 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 to feel much for
though I do understand why she is
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.

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 (as films) so well is because of the romance. I feel like 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 is keeping their feelings a secret or they’re being plan and simple stupid. Theirs is a relationship with more wisdom than its peers
and for that alone, I have to give this series props. 

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 as she makes every effort to give the innocent voice
and freedom. I don’t know what differs from the film vs. book storytelling, but
just doing a Google search will reveal multiple headlines signifying Movie Insurgent’s infinite differences from
Book Insurgent. I thought the story
it told was… good. It had a plot even if it played more like a bridge between Divergent’s explosive introduction and the
third film (part one adaptation of the final book Allegiant.) 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. Though I cannot say those of you who were fans of the book will
feel any warm fuzzies for this. It worked nicely in my opinion because it gave
Tris time to grieve, to consider what her life had been. 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 is in store for our heroine, but I feel like
this script did have a purpose whether it followed protocol or not is
irrelevant. 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. 

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 rated PG13.)


  • Kristin

    October 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I enjoyed this one, probably just as much as the first one. I had heard most people talking about how the second book was their least favorite of the trilogy, so it looks like the majority of them would have been happy if the film is different from the book, ha! I've only read the first book, so I wouldn't know.

    And after seeing how this movie ends, I can't help but wonder what exactly is going to happen in the final installments? (I have been spoiled to the one big thing that happens in the last book.) Do they have enough content for two movies? Probably not. I feel like everyone is trying to follow in Harry Potter's footsteps with splitting the last book into two movies, and Harry Potter is probably the only instance when that was actually needed (Deathly Hallows is a huge book and there's a lot of stuff happening). When all of these other adaptations do it, it feels like they're just trying to make extra money. (Just like The Hobbit in no way needed to be three films.)

    Though I enjoy the movies a lot more than I expected to, I still much prefer The Hunger Games. :)

    1. Rissi

      October 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Ha! That's an excellent point, Kristin; if fans didn't love the middle novel, they should respect/enjoy this adaptation. ;)

      I agree about the splitting of the movies. It's just the industries way of trying to get MORE out of a big money-making franchise in my estimation, but I don't know that as fact. (As you point out also.) With this specific series, I feel like there may be changes ahead (although I don't know that the writer's/producer's will alter THAT big change) because they aren't going to be a "part one" and "part two," instead they have separate titles.

      Nothing wrong with preferring THG! :) I know lots of fans like it best or as well as these; I've not seen Mockingjay, Part 1 yet. But then, as this review proved, my track record in watching some of these blockbusters (those that I'm the only one interested in) is pretty bad. ;)

  • Morgan

    October 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I agree with what you said about this movie feeling more like a bridge between the first and third, although it does give her important time to grieve and such. I was a little disappointed, but that disappointment might have stemmed more from being really disappointed with the last book and not liking the series as a whole very much. I do have hope that they'll make the last book better in movie form, but I kind of doubt it. I like that Tris is more emotional than Katniss, but I still prefer the Hunger Games.

    1. Rissi

      October 26, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      Nothing wrong with preferring THG, Morgan. You're not alone. :) I just don't like the concept of forcing KIDS to fight to the death… that's just… over-the-top. I understand that people are being forced to do things against their will in this series as well, but something about it "feels" different. Plus, it doesn't help that I didn't like Book Katniss much at all (it's never fun when a reader doesn't like the main character). Movie Katniss is MUCH better thanks to Jennifer's wonderful performance.

      I understand that feeling (not liking the final book, which maybe reflected on your feelings for the film). I suspect that BIG ending won't change in the movie, but hey, we can hope, right!? :) If for no other reason than allowing Tris time to accept and grieve, this was a solid adaptation.

      Thanks a bunch for sharing your thoughts and visiting, Morgan.

  • Becky Ritta

    October 23, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Like you, I haven't read the books. I've really enjoyed both movies so far. I have doubts about the final one, as I know the "big" spoiler, but I'm definitely looking forward to the last two films!

    As for The Hunger Games, I LOVED the books … but the movies have failed to wow me. I've liked them fine, but I've enjoyed the Divergent films more than The Hunger Games films.

    1. Rissi

      October 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      I know what you mean; I feel like that final movie will indeed include THE ending we all dread. *sigh* It's sad really since I think MOST fans would be cool with the change. Either way, people will criticize I suspect. Here's hoping they decide on the direction and commit to it with 100% surety. :)

      Ironically I'm the opposite; I loved the first The Hunger Games movie vs. the book (the former was amazing, the latter, eh, I didn't fall into its snare). But I've not read the other two THG books though I hear Catching Fire is the best! :)

      Glad you shared your thoughts, Becky. Always enjoy visiting with you.

  • Hannah Barta

    October 24, 2015 at 4:20 am

    It's been over a year I think since I finished the books, so I don't really remember all the plot lines in this one. That being said, I do remember that when I first saw the trailer I was like, "Um . . . are we still in the same series, guys?" But I was never a huge fan–Tris really gets on my nerves, especially after the first novel; I like Tobias much better. Also, Shailene looks a bit too boyish for my taste with her hair chopped off like that ;)

    I'd still like to see it though! I always love reading your reviews on things like this :D

    Dance A Real

    1. Rissi

      October 26, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      I think your initial reaction was a lot of people's reaction as well, Hannah. They didn't like this as an adaptation for the book. This is why I suspect the final movies won't differ (especially in the ending) from the book as badly. I thought this was really good as a kind of "bridge" between movies. It allowed Tris time to heal and grieve.

      Tris hasn't gotten on my nerves… yet. But as this is a YA series, I suspect she will at some point because, well, it isn't a proper YA epic if there isn't drama. ;)

      Thank YOU for reading, as always, Hannah. I enjoy reading your comments. :)

  • Welcome To Our Book Wonderland

    October 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Didn't like it and we loved the books. We're not even sure that we will go see the last 2 movies. This one was so different and so the last 2 have to be different and follow this story line that it's not Divergent anymore. My girls said they want to skip these which was kinda sad since my oldest was a huge fan of the books. :(

    1. Rissi

      October 26, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      That's what I heard! Perhaps you'll be able to tell if the final movies are worth seeing via reviews. :/ Or there's always that hope. If you ladies do see them eventually, I hope you enjoy them better. I suspect the writer's and producer's will rethink their adapting skills given the complaints as regards Insurgent, but who knows! Perhaps they think they know best.

  • Kailin Richardson

    November 9, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I didn't think this movie was all that great, compared to Hunger Games…I enjoyed the first movie much more than HG, but this one was so slow paced and full of talking. I didn't like how it ended similar to The Maze Runner…

    1. Rissi

      November 10, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      I definitely felt like this one was a "bridge" film, Kailin. Definitely had a note of that dreaded "middle" story (although considering these franchises number in four films vs. three, that's hard to accomplish). Nonetheless I did enjoy it. Glad you like THG and hopefully you'll enjoy the next film in this Divergent series; I'll confess I wasn't a fan of The Maze Runner. ;)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

Prev Post Next Post

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

%d bloggers like this: