Divergent Series, The: Insurgent

Picture Courtesy of Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate films

Picture Courtesy of Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate films

Having taken forever to see this movie and do a review for it, the day has finally come.  I’m a fan of the Divergent book series, but I must admit I was not completely thrilled with the first film.  Most book readers usually have an issue with the film in comparison to the book, but there was just something about the film that didn’t really do it 100% for me.  With a switch of directors I was really looking forward to Insurgent and had some renewed hope for the series.

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four  (Theo James) are on the run after shutting down the attack by Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet).  Still with the upper hand and power, Jeanine amps up her technology to hunt down and locate the Divergents to eradicate them all.  When she discovers a hidden object in the Abnegation faction, many are killed and the blame is placed on Tris and the other dauntless defectors.  Tris’ goal is to kill Jeanine, but when Jeanine uses Tris’ weaknesses to her advantage she falls right into a trap.  Jeanine plans to use Tris’ Divergence to unlock a device handed down from the founders of the factions in the hopes of destroying all Divergents.  Unlocking the device could hold the key, or the destruction of everything they know.

When you see a movie for a book series, most people usually will re-read the books to refresh their memories.  I have never done this as the luxury of re-reading a book has never presented itself with the mass of other books on my list.  The events that take place in Insurgent where very vague in my mind and I just had to go along with it.  There were things that made sense that I remembered, but there were many things that seemed completely new to me.  I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the director had some creative freedom and introduced some new elements to the story to make it more intriguing and, of course, visually appealing.

Insurgent is the honorary stepping stone in the trilogy, and like most stepping stones, not much happens.  Normally the action and visuals are amped up to cover the lack of story but sometimes leave dead spots that result in mindless drifting.  Insurgent did not have this effect.  Although in the big picture not a whole lot happens; things seem to speed by smoothly creating an engaging storyline, great effects and before you know it the end has hit you.

Tris’ character is really the centre of the whole series and it seems like we really don’t see much of the other characters at all in Insurgent.  The Amity leader (Octavia Spencer), the Factionless leader (Naomi Watts), Marcus (Ray Stevenson) and other familiar faces from the first film all jump in and out in a flash.

Divergent, introduces us to all the great characters and the concept of the factions.  Really the most interesting meat of the story is heaped onto our plate in Divergent, but there is something so smooth about Insurgent that makes it more enjoyable than the first.  Perhaps it is due to having less to choke on?  I had hopes for the new director and it surely delivered.  With the finale of Allegiant to follow, I hope the same director can keep the momentum going for what will be quite an ending to such a great series.  Lets not get too ahead of ourselves though, as expected we will have the pleasure to endure the cash cow that is Part 1 and Part 2 splitting of films.  If ever there was something to be called a stepping stone, it would be Part 1 of any finale which usually boasts even more theatrics and even less story.  Fans of the series rejoice for the reigniting of the Divergent flame, those who haven’t seen or read need to get on that; however, feel free to take your time since we all have to wait for 2016’s Part 1 and 2017’s part 2. Sigh.

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