“Insurgent,” the sequel to the popular movie adaptation of the young adult bestseller, “Divergent,” follows the average storyline of the modern teen action film: hot girl meets hot guy, hot guy and hot girl run away together, hot girl and hot guy fight for their love and end up saving the world along the way.
For those who like to read the book before seeing the movie, do not get your hopes up about “Insurgent.” It became pretty clear that Veronica Roth, the author, was not included in the movie making process. The plot had been adapted in an attempt to make the novel better suited for screenplay. However, during this attempt, too much insignificant material was added and major parts of the storyline were lost. To appeal to the audience members who were in it for the love story, the minor characters, who have pivotal roles in the book, are overshadowed on screen by “hot girl” Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and “hot guy” Four’s (Theo James) relationship. Plot twists that occurred in the book were overlooked and trivialized in the movie.
“Divergent,” the first movie of the trilogy, sets the scene of a post-apocalyptic Chicago that divides its members into four factions based on their individual strengths. If you missed out on “Divergent,” you will be completely lost during “Insurgent”.
“Insurgent” follows Tris and Four as they attempt to overthrow Erudite, the current leading faction, and stop them from manipulating more innocent civilians. The leaders of Erudite believe that Abnegation, the peaceful faction, has important information about what lies beyond the wall that constrains the factions. Word has gotten out that Abnegation is about to release this information to the public, and Erudite believes that this will harm the society, so they go to extreme measures to make sure that this will not happen.
The Erudite see Tris and Four as a threat because they are divergent, meaning Erudite’s control serums did not work on them. In the first film, these serums were forcefully inserted into all citizens, giving Erudite the power to take over anyone’s brain and control their actions. Most civilians are not aware of their actions while under the serum; however, those labeled as divergent are. The divergent are virtually uncontrollable.
The Erudites spend almost the entirety of this movie searching for a serum that will allow them to control the divergent. Much like the last movie, innocent civilians die in the process and everyone else is injected with more serum.
“Insurgent” was definitely full of action, most of which was unnecessary violence that the producers added in a desperate attempt to maintain the audience’s attention. One scene featured Tris, Four and Caleb (Ansel Elgort), Tris’ brother, in a gruesome battle on a train against the factionless members. The lengthy fight had no relative importance to the movie except that it added action, not to mention that it never occurred in the book.
One thing that the movie got right was the portrayal of Tris’ character. In the average romantic action movie, the hot guy becomes the hero when he saves the hot girl. And while Four ended up saving Tris sometimes, Tris shows tremendous female empowerment in her ability to fight for herself. In “Divergent,” she had to prove her worth as a woman, and “Insurgent” continued to carry it out for her.
Looking past the plot, the movie was decently produced. The cast performs well together and has strong chemistry, probably because Woodley has starred in other movies as the love interest for all three male leads. The futuristic society is well portrayed through the set, and the visual effects are about as realistic as they can get. But, the ending strayed completely from the book, so who knows how “Allegiant” will be filmed or how many more movies are yet to come.