Insurgent and its prequel Divergent are film versions of Veronica Roth’s popular novels. They follow the dystopian themes of other popular teen angst end-of-the-world themes like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.
While teens and young adults, or those that slogged through Roth’s books, might find Insurgent fascinating, the rest of us will be bored.
It’s slow, tedious and repetitive.
Insurgent is set in walled-up, apocalyptic Chicago. As you remember from Divergent, civilization has collapsed and the survivors set up a caste system where people fall into five categories, and each category has a specific function in society. Some are protectors, others administrators, some keep track of laws and there are peacemakers and so on.
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This is sleep-inducing, predictable stuff that end-of-the-civilized-world movies have been doing for decades.
The Divergent series has individuals not fitting into the five categories as factionless. They are cast out to live in squalid conditions in the streets. The factionless look just like those of a dozen other, and dare I say, better films of the genre.
In these themes, there is always one in society that poses a threat to all. This set of books — and now movies — has it as the divergent. Shailene Woodley’s Tris is one of them. Divergent has all of the characteristics of the five categories.
They’re the most despised and dangerous people in this post-apocalyptic world.
In the first film, Tris and boyfriend Four — played by Theo James — started a rebellion against Erudite leader Jeanine, who has launched a war against the other groups. She doesn’t play well with others and wants complete control.
Insurgent has the troubled Tris sulking through most of the flick as the two connect with the factionless. Jeanine is in pursuit and needs Tris to unlock a box containing a deadly secret. So Tris goes from one crisis to another, and the hunky Four has little to do but tag along and do the rescue thing.
Like Jennifer Lawrence, who got stuck in ready to conclude The Hunger Games, Woodley is a talented, dynamic actress wasted in this uninteresting sequel and the equally slow series. Also wasted is her co-star, the charismatic James. Kate Winslet is a boring villain as is Whiplash’s Miles Teller, who plays Peter, the traitorous slimeball. Oscar-winner and the popular Octavia Spencer has just a few lines.
More of Spencer might have added the humor and spice this movie — and The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner — needs.
And this disaster’s sequel is destined for the usual big payday for its backers. Like all the producers of sequel-oriented teen-focused flicks, the first of the final installment of the film version of Veronica Roth’s third novel, Allegiant, will be seen in 2015.
Part two of Allegiant happens in 2016. You are still awake, right?