Insurgent is Ineffective

It was four years ago when Veronica Roth’s novel, Divergent hit bookstores, and one year later the series continued with the second novel, Insurgent. The Divergent Series was released during a peek time for Young Adult Fiction. The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Maze Runner, all books that fall into that category and have been very successful. So, what is the first thing you do with a successful novel? Yup, make it into a movie. All the titles mentioned above have been adapted included the second novel in The Divergent Series, but that doesn’t mean they all were critically successful films. Unfortunately, director Robert Schwentke’s new picture, Insurgent, is living proof.

Theo James, Miles Teller, and Shailene Woodley  in Insurgent

Theo James, Miles Teller, and Shailene Woodley in Insurgent

Insurgent tells the story of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), who is in search for allies to help her fight against a major alliance in the Erudite faction led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), all while fighting some inner demons.

Insurgent is what I call a “Supposed to Film.” Meaning, this movie is supposed to be entertaining, this movie is supposed to have the audience emotional invested, I am supposed to actually care—but I don’t. I don’t care about the story, I don’t care about the characters, I have no investment whatsoever. This dragged out, two hour film seemed to be satisfied with being mediocre and didn’t even try to up the ante. What I mean by that, is with the growing popularity of Young Adult novels being adapted, this movie appeared to make no effort to be better or be more appealing in an insanely competitive market.

Even the film’s usually outstanding lead, Woodley, seemed to miss the mark. I found her performance unmoving and at times so awkward, it was hard to watch. To my surprise the one character I did enjoy watching was Peter, played by Miles Teller. An actor who I once had not a positive thing to say, became the most entertaining performer. Oh and of course, Kate Winslet, was great in her villainous role, even if her character is boring and doesn’t allow the actress to use her true acting abilities. 

Sure, the special effects were at times stunning and some of the action sequences were fun, but the movie was empty. When Louie, my cowriter, reviewed the first film last year, he hit the nail on the head. It was stuck in the middle of the YA craze. It was no Hunger Games, but it was far better than Twilight and The Giver. After this second film, I can no longer agree with that. After seeing The Maze Runner, which was entertaining and intriguing enough to keep me interested and waiting for a sequel, I’ve seen how good this types of films can be. Insurgent went out of its way to actually lower itself on the bar and it conveniently squishes itself with all the other dystopian, young-adult films.

Unfortunately, Insurgent is boring, bland, and worst of all, empty. It manages to lose the portion of good the first film offered, making it below mediocre. It simply left me an insurgent against this movie. 

1 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob Tiranno

In case you missed our video review for this week, check it out below:


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