By: Natalia Wroblewski
The first film of the Divergent trilogy reached the #1 spot at the box office during its opening weekend last year, so the sequel, Insurgent was anticipated to rake up a similar, if not better, response.
The movie stars popular actors and actresses including Shailene Woodley who plays Tris Prior, an independent heroine, Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton, a determined fighter, and Ansel Elgort as Caleb Prior, Tris’s betraying brother.
The movie continues the story of Tris and the post apocalyptic world she faces. She and her allies search for an answer as to what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives for and why the Erudite faction will do anything to stop them. A war begins to brew as conflicts grow and past secrets are revealed, which affect everyone’s future.
“Getting back into Tris was much more difficult than I anticipated, because I didn’t take into account that I, myself, had grown for a year,” Woodley told People Magazine in a press interview a month ago about filming the second movie.
Just like many other book to movie adaptations, Insurgent was modified to make the story more thrilling and Hollywood appropriate. The book’s main idea of character relationships was transferred from page to screen with some major adjustments, including the entire ending of the movie. Warning: spoiler ahead.
Originally, the finding of the truth revealing video message was found by Four and Caleb, but the movie’s redesign added a twist.
Author of the Divergent series, Veronica Roth, revealed how she felt about the film in a Tumblr post writing, “Insurgent, the book, has a complicated plot — a lot of moving parts, a lot of ups and downs; that sort of thing can work in a book, but if it’s translated directly to the screen, it makes for a messy, confusing movie. The changes that were made streamline the story so it makes sense for this new format; in other words, they work.”
Critics’ reviews ranged from “satisfactory” to “disappointing.” Connie Ogle from The Miami Herald newspaper said, “Unfortunately, Insurgent can’t quite live up to its intriguing set up.”
Others, like Bill Zwecker from the Chicago Sun-Times said, “For those looking for non-stop action, pretty dazzling special effects and solid acting by the young protagonists, Insurgent will not disappoint.”
Common Sense Media rated the movie three stars out of five, Metacritic gave it two stars, and IMDb praised it with four stars.
“I saw the movie but didn’t read the book, so from what I saw I thought the movie was really good. It was suspenseful and ended with sort of a cliffhanger so that got me excited for the next movie,” said AHS sophomore Lyan Khanji.
The Divergent series has often been compared to The Hunger Games series because Tris from Divergent and Katniss from The Hunger Games are both female characters who rise as leaders and mourn the losses of others who have suffered as a result of a similar futuristic rebellion revolution.
Another similarity in both these novels is the glitchy, dystopian society the characters are forced to live in. Whether its The Hunger Games districts or the Divergent factions, there are flaws.
Jeanine Matthews from Divergent and President Snow from The Hunger Games are the over controlling leaders who negatively influence many people and have so much power that they become the rebellions’ targets.
“I thought the movie was interesting to watch. There was a lot of action, but it didn’t follow the book as well as I would have liked and the acting was sub-par,” said Foxboro Regional Charter School (FRCS) senior Avanna Menard.
Insurgent came out on March 20 making $54 million in its first weekend, just in North America, which is basically the same amount Divergent made its first weekend. It is rated PG-13 for its extreme violence and action and also its occasional, aggressive language.
Like many other book to movie adaptations of young adult series, the last book in the series, Allegiant, will be split into two movies. Plans are to release Part 1 on March 18, 2016 and Part 2 on March 24, 2017.
Insurgent deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars for its thrilling action and satisfactory acting but loses points because it doesn’t follow the book as well as fans might’ve liked.