Release Date: March 20. 2015
Director: Robert Schwentke
Writer: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman
Cast: Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Cynthia Barrett, Justice Leak, Lyndsi LaRose, Charlie Bodin, Octavia Spencer, Zoe Kravitz, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Konrad Howard, Lucella Costa, Devon Lane Treson, Ray Stevenson
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 119 minutes
Production Company: Red Wagon Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Thriller
Budget: 110 million
In most conversations about book adaptations, one of the more popular opinions is that the book is always better than the movie. I agree on the point that the soul that’s turning the page adds his or her own imagination to field the mind. These ideas, taken and pieced together by someone else could produce a visual masterpiece befitting the story, or it could be a complete letdown because it doesn’t serve your vision.
I think that the team behind Insurgent has at least created a vivid post-apocalyptic world on a grand scale, and with enough backdrop to immerse oneself in. The sad thing is, that’s all they created. Half of the cast has done a decent job, while the performance of the other half was a laughable joke. It was hard to take the characters seriously, because they didn’t do so themselves. My shoulders began to tire because of the constant shrugging with disappointment about the horrible writing. The film tried to accomplish too much.
Not having read the books, my only connections with the series were the constant TV spots, and my viewing of the first filmThe Divergent Series: Allegiant, which I didn’t enjoy. I went in, still optimistic, and attempted to give the feature a fighting chance.
That fight was a difficult two-hour battle and I won just by sticking to it tillthe end. The effects, great cast, and story amount to nothing, when the plot, dialogue, and character’s actions ignore all logic and reason. Not every scene was illogical, but there was enough of it to roll your eyes and take deep breaths in frustration.
Apart from the lead actress, Shailene Woodley, every single character felt out of place, and was too hard on themselves. I’m not sure if this was overacting, bad direction, or the fact that the characters were picked right off the pages of the book. If it’s the latter, I’m baffled at how the book has become so popular.
My main concern is the forced action to serve the story. At times, it was completely unnecessary, clocking me out as an audience member, and on top of that, it left a bad taste in my mouth. If some character just wouldn’t have mentioned their name, and what they represent, lives could’ve been saved. Non-threats are treated as such, but not decided. Characters commit suicide, but none of the onlookers decide to interfere. Instead, we get over one hundred onlookers staring at the character as if they’re seeing snow in July for the first time.
Even if you create a fictional world, you must create the ground rules of that universe and stick to them. Insurgent does not even follow the rules of the real world when it comes to execution, unless they’re trained assassins.