Can Insurgent keep the momentum of Divergent going?
Run away Tris they are coming! Insurgent, the second film based on the second book in the Divergent series has landed and it similar to the book picks up right where they left off. While there are of course changes from the book similar to the changes in Divergent this makes a lot more sense.
Most of the changes are for time and continuity. The request to be let in Amity is sped up so Tris, Four (Theo James), Caleb, Marcus, and Peter are already in Amity living and hiding. Tris (Shailene Woodley) has gone back to her ragey teen persona and Peter (Miles Teller) master manipulator is milking Amity for everything he can. In this adaptation, Max’s (Mekhi Phifer) role is a lot larger than it was in the previous film while Marcus’ is scaled down from the book version.
Insurgent really plays with the storyline change that results in much more fear landscapes. Playing around with Tris’s nightmares and Jeanine’s (Kate Winslet) serum make it a richly beautiful special effects heavy film for those parts. Since ti doesn’t use it much outside of those scenes it doesn’t feel overrun throughout the whole movie. It’s a good balance. The story changes though work really well for the most part. The universe of the film is also widened with the fugitives fleeing to Amity where Johanna (Octavia Spencer) gives them shelter and Candor where the leader Kang (Daniel Dae Kim) gives depth to the way the factions interact.
We do get some impressive fight scenes and explore the world of the factionless which is nothing like the faction people believe it to be. Bringing Evelyn (Naomi Watts) into the fold as Four’s believed to be dead mother also is a character change as she’s not as hostile to Tris as she is in the book. There are minor character’s in the book who like Edward in the first film are dumped. Uriah (Keiynan Lonsdale) has a minor level of presence, but his brother Zeke is now not in the story.
Most of Insurgent works. I definitely enjoyed it much more that Divergent where plot changes were silly and unnecessary. The change to require a Divergent to open the book with info from the founders is a good change here. Having Tris and Christina’s (Zoë Kravitz) relationship go from anger to forgiveness over Will’s death makes more sense this way than it does in the book. Changes who kills who and how certain people die is odd but not as distracting as the close ups of Four throughout the film. He’s still so disarmingly handsome you get into a what..what? Several times during Insurgent. Caleb (Ansel Elgort) is the worst brother ever. I don’t really get Ansel Elgort. He seems like in a lot of the film he’s phoning it in or not sure what to do in his scenes. Maybe it is because of how he’s paired. The scenes where Tris and Jeanine go toe to toe are fantastic as a battle of wills. The changes do make me wonder how it will affect Allegiant which is being broken into 2 films.
Insurgent was my favorite book in the trilogy and one that I read in 2 days so this was why I needed this to keep me more invested that Divergent did. While I liked the first I loved this one. Now to wait another year as the rage towards the Allegiant book ending builds.
My Rating: Full price
Director: Robert Schwentke
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Run time: 119 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13