Movie #249 2020: Insurgent (2015)

Back we go now to the fabled trilogy. You’ll recall that I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by the first film in the Divergent series and it was nothing but average. So, did the sequel fare any better?

We re-join these characters pretty much where we left off; in a world split into factions, but this time with the cautious hope that a group of divergents and rebels will stop any sinister forces at play. Kate Winslet‘s villainous Jeanine returns and is still trying to murder all divergents, and Shailene Woodley returns to helm the fight against her. Where this movie benefits is that we have already technically been immersed into this world, so there’s little need to re-introduce us to it here, and the action kicks off immediately – with Tris and a few of her faithful companions thoroughly balls deep in trouble.

A movie starring Kate WinsletOctavia Spencer and Naomi Watts sounds great on paper, and yet… Their talents would absolutely be better-suited elsewhere. This is a trio that I’d gladly watch star in their own original movie as a threesome, whether that be some chick-flick, rom-com sweetness, or a gritty, psychotic drama about mothers who have undergone some sort of life-altering trauma. Sadly, this is a complete waste of their abilities. In fact, I’d take it one step further to say that each performance is carefully crafted and well done by the cast and they deserve better than this. So much talent, so much garbage. To add insult to injury, Zoe Kravitz is severely underused too.

In comparison to Divergent, there is way too little in the way of a script here and some of the events within it are just so lame. I mean, truth serum? Come on. Sure, it’s a good way to hurry the plot along, but something tells me it wasn’t so simplified and easy in the books. It just ends up looking lazy, like the majority of this film. It’s confusing, and ultimately seems completely pointless.

On the subject of a poorly-paced script, action packed sequences completely saturate the film. Of course they are well rehearsed and entertaining, but there’s barely time for a breather within this film’s walls. And I’m not talking well conceived action either. This is no Die Hard – all of the action ends up barely contributing to what little narrative there is at hand here.

As a result of these producers trying to push out another movie just to force a trilogy, it just feels as though they could have cut out the first half of the movie and just skipped right to the main characters recruiting allies. We already know that these characters are on the run and definitely don’t need another hour to witness them doing so. However, the second half of the movie is decent at least – it’s when they (finally) cut to the chase.

What Insurgent does get is a big tick for the graphics in the latter stages. We are presented with some really exciting special effects, complete with flying shards of rubble and glass, which really sparks the brain back into interest. Annoyingly, the rest of the film is so tedious that it’s kind of too little too late at that point.

Overall, I completely lost interest half an hour in, which is quite similar to the way I lost interest in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Another movie trilogy based on a book series that unfortunately got mauled by movie executives in an attempt to generate profit, certainly.

So will I be completing this trilogy with movie three, Allegiant? To be honest, I watched the first ten minutes and I couldn’t continue. So your answer is no. And if you have any sense, you’ll watch Divergent as a mindless piece of fun and then never visit this franchise ever again… unless you’re going to read the novels. I guess that is acceptable…

Insurgent is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

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