There are currently three dystopian future trilogies making their way to the big screen right now: The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. All three picture a future where society has fallen to the ravages of war or some other disaster and order is kept through control mechanisms, namely the hunger games, the maze, and the faction system respectively. I have only read the Hunger Games trilogy and as such, can’t comment beyond the movies for the other two trilogies, but all three seem to target the same audience with the same type of meta-story. As the second installment of the Divergent trilogy makes its way to the big screen, I had the opportunity to catch a screening and will be able to keep this review brief, if for no other reason than I found it to be the most dry of the books turned to film thus far.
Insurgent picks up where Divergent left off with Tris and Four escaping the city to dwell with Amity. Of course, putting a couple of dauntless bred divergents with the peace and love faction won’t bode well for long so our duo makes their way back to the city to search for other dauntless. <small spoilers ahead> Meanwhile, Jeanine has absolved herself of previous wrongdoings, namely the slaughter of an entire faction, and is now focused on opening a mysterious artifact hidden by Tris’s mom. Only a divergent can open said artifact, thus sets in motion Jeanine’s hunt for divergents and the plot for the 2nd movie. I found this movie to be somewhat shallow compared to the first without a strong story line to follow. Perhaps because its serving as a bridge to the big reveal that kicks off book 3 and future movie 3, but I just did not get into the second movie as much as the first. With some reflection, perhaps the movie, like the books, is made for a more teen audience without the depth and complexities that may be found in other films about post catastrophe futures. In any case, I found myself checking my watch frequently and not as engaged as I had hoped from start to finish.
The movie is not bad per se, just not something I would go out of my way to see opening weekend. As far as an enjoyable rental on a movie night, Insurgent is sure to fill the space with some excitement and good visual effects that should leave the viewer entertained despite the shallow bridge story.
3.5 out of 7 – Rated PG13 for typical mature teen content of violence and sexual situations.