Last weekend saw the release of sci-fi adventure film “Insurgent” starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James. This film is the second of three based on author Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” trilogy.
The premise of the book series is a post-apocalyptic Chicago whose citizens are split off into five factions based on their personality. The books specifically focus on Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who proves to be compatible with all of the factions, making her, as they call it, divergent.
The first movie, “Divergent,” came out last March and was a huge box office success, gaining over $200 million during its release. However, the film seemed to stretch the plot too thin, making the characters boring and drama redundant.
But fast-forward to now. With new director Robert Schwentke in tow, the film was expected to have a different feel than the first movie, and it definitely does.
“Insurgent” picks up right where “Divergent” leaves off, with Tris and company on the run after power-hungry leader Jeanine Matthews orders an attack on Abnegation, the faction that Tris’ family was in. The film continues as sort of a cat-and-mouse game, with Jeanine tracking down Tris in order to open a box that holds the truth about how the society turned into what it is today. However, only a divergent can open the box, making Tris the perfect candidate.
Compared with the last movie, “Insurgent” does a much better job portraying the story of the books. Schwentke successfully revamps in this movie, making it visually appealing and emotionally drawing.
The star-studded cast does not disappoint either. From actresses such as Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews) and Octavia Spencer (Johanna Reyes) to actors Miles Teller (Peter Hayes) and James (Four Eaton), the performances given are dramatic and fulfill each character’s personality.
However, for fans of the book, the movie seems to come up short. Like the last movie, “Insurgent” is definitely different than the book in a variety of elements. Namely, the purpose of the box in the movie adaptation is completely different from the book, as there actually is no box in the writeup.
Of course, there is always the argument that some things need to be changed from the book in order to logically fit into a movie format. However, there is a fine line between logical change and drastic, and “Insurgent” crosses that one too many times.
Yes, every little detail of a book can’t make it into the two hours of a film, but there comes a point when, if changed, certain details can greatly diminish the purpose of certain actions, change a character’s portrayal and show a completely different message from the book.
Even if the reasoning of those changes is to remake the book for a new genre, then the movie doesn’t do that great of a job, either. At some points in the movie, the plot line is hard to follow, as there are so many things to keep up with. Because of several plot lines, it is hard to see the character development of some, let alone be able to keep up with their journey in the first place.
Some movie-goers may enjoy “Insurgent” solely for the fact that it’s action-packed and dramatic. But for those who want to go deeper with the characters and have a tangible story line, the film will definitely leave you hanging, giving this movie a two out of four President Jon Wallace heads.