Movie Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2)

Posted March 19, 2015 by Lori in Books, Posts / 2 Comments Tags: , ,

Movie Review: Insurgent (Divergent #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #2

Directed by Robert Schwentke

Written by Brian Duffield (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Mark Bomback (screenplay), and Veronica Roth (novel)

Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts

One choice can transform you-or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships. Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I got to see a screening of Insurgent on Monday night and I was so excited! I don’t think I’d ever been to a showing of a movie before it was released. I’ve seen midnight shows before but this was a first. And it was awesome! So many people were there by the time we showed up, I really didn’t think we’d get in. But we did. We were near the end so we didn’t have great seats, but we were in and we got to see it and that’s all that mattered!

Now, I’m not movie critic and I’m absolutely sure that actual movie critics will have more to say about the movie than I do. I’m also not a huge fan of the books like I know some of you are and I’m also sure that you guys will have some other things to say about this movie, but for me as its own thing, I thought the movie was really good. It was much better than Divergent, both the story and the acting, the visuals were stunning, and it was easy to get swept up in the story. I hope you guys will love it and be able to remember to accept the movie as its own thing and not compare it too closely to the book. Because I guarantee that if you do, you will not like it.

Just to get this out of the way because I know a lot of you are going to want to know this, the movie is very different than the book. The overall message of the Divergents and the need to find them and Tris and Four’s desire to take out Jeanine and tell everyone what she did in Divergent and finding a better way to live is still there. But a lot of other stuff is changed. If I were a die-hard Insurgent fan or remembered more of the book, I’m really not sure what I would have thought of the movie. (I’m not ashamed to admit that after coming home I checked the Recaptains Insurgent post to see if I really didn’t remember anything or if things were as different as I thought.) It works really well as a sequel to Divergent and as a movie, but it was definitely different from the book. I won’t go into what was changed because I don’t want to spoil anything but if you’ve seen the trailers than you already probably suspect that it’s different. And that’s probably a good thing. Go into the movie prepared for a different story and a different journey for Tris and Four knowing that the end goal is similar and you should be good. I really hope you’ll all love it. I know how disappointing it can be when a movie of a book you love just isn’t what you had hoped.

One thing I actually really liked in this movie as opposed to the books was the relationship between Tris and Four. While I don’t remember a lot of details from the book, I do remember thinking that I hated the two of them. It felt like they were never really honest with each other and fought a lot. In the movie, they are actually really good together. It was the first time that I really felt like I understood why they were together. It seemed like they loved and supported each other. And it felt totally different from how I felt about them in the book. And even in the Divergent movie, I was told how they felt about each other but I didn’t really believed it or understand why they felt that way. But I definitely believed it on the screen in this movie.

The acting was also really good in this movie. No one’s going to win an Oscar from their performance and not all of the characters are given the chance to really show who they are in the books given that the movie is only two hours but everyone does a really good job with the time they’re given. Both Woodley and James did a great job in all of their scenes, not just the ones together, and seemed so much more natural in this one than the first. And we get to see Uriah in this one! Naomi Watts does a really good job as Evelyn and the scenes between her and Four were really great. I loved the tension between the two of them. I still hate Kate Winslets character, of course, but she’s great as Jeanine and shows how ruthless she can be and Miles Teller had some really great moments as Peter. Caleb showed his true colors and while I know they are acting, seeing him and Tris together as brother and sister was a little distracting after seeing them together as lovers in TFioS. I know I’m suppose to rise above all of that but I’m not that good. I couldn’t help but be reminded of their last movie together.

Besides being very different from the book, there were things that I wasn’t quite sold on in the movie. There were some moments of humor in this one and I was trying to figure out if they were meant to be there or if the actors added in some sarcasm or if I was just reading it all completely wrong. I’m not sure but I did kind of enjoy those moments. It made it seems as if the movie wasn’t taking itself too seriously. Plus, it broke up all of the action and angst a little bit. (And there’s a lot of angst in this movie.)  I did also have some questions during the movie. Mostly just small things that didn’t really matter but if things like that bother you, you will notice them here. Like in that scene near the beginning when they jump the train, where exactly is that train coming from? If there’s nothing beyond the wall, is it just circling the city? And if it is, why? Where did the supplies on the train come from? I don’t know. Also, how did Tris get so good at cutting hair? And I didn’t understand Peter’s motive to help Tris near the end. I get it in the book but the movie changed some things and I didn’t feel like I really understood why he did what he did. There are other moments like this, which is going to happen in almost any movie, but they were just a couple I noticed. And if you are someone who nitpicks about things like that, this movie might drive you crazy.

I’m not sure how most people will feel about this movie. As someone who’s read the books and liked them okay, I’m neither in the huge group of people that are big fans of the book or in the group that hasn’t read the book and is a fan of the movie, I can only guess. And my guess is that fans of the book will be upset that so much has changed and people who haven’t read the book will enjoy it. It was a good movie and did a really good job with what it was given. As far as YA dystopians go, though,  it’s pretty generic. I don’t think there will be a big group of action movie fans falling for the movie. I hope people will enjoy it for what it is. And it was a fun, teen action movie based on a book but telling its own story. The acting is really good, which only proves further that if you want a successful adaptation, you need good actors. Not famous, necessarily, but definitely good acting. And they did a good job making the movie for people who haven’t read the books. I saw it with someone who hadn’t read any of them and she loved the movie. Which is another important part of a successful adaptation, a movie that makes sense without having to read the book. Though, to be fair, I’m not sure reading this book would actually give you an advantage on those who hadn’t. Did I mention the movie is different than the book?

I don’t doubt at all that this movie will be successful. Tons of people are going to see it and enjoy it. I mostly hope fans of the book will love it because they are the ones that want it the most. I’m just not sure that they will. Still, I give it a thumbs up and really enjoyed it. Let me know what you guys think!

 

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