“Insurgent” is a horrendous film from beginning to end. Some good performances save this film from the bowels of bad movie immortality.
“Insurgent” is a jumbled up mess and full of stutter steps. It seems as if this movie actually tries to be something, but whatever that ‘something’ is, simply is not good, and you leave the cineplex scratching your head, wondering what you just paid money to see.
In each review that is done, I try my best to give a brief synopsis of what happens or the overall plot of the film that I review. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that with this film, as confused and muddled as the plot was it was hard to simply just peg something that would be used as a log line or an interesting plot point to reveal what this movie was about. All that can really be said about this film, is that this is the sequel to “Divergent”. “Insurgent” really doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be at its core. Is it an action film? Is it a thriller full of twists and turns? Or is it a classic romantic fairytale? Simply stated you really are unaware of what this movie is trying to be. Even if “Insurgent” was trying to be all three of these things, it does a horrible job at every single on of them. Oddly enough, “Insurgent” tries really hard to be “The Hunger Games,” but it doesn’t come close to the story or the quality of that film franchise.
“Insurgent” really is the poor man’s Hunger Games, and it is quite sad to see this adaptation from book to screen. The book written by Veronica Roth is highly successful and well regarded. It is just nonsense that these books are not handled with care the way that other past franchises have been handled. There are glimpses of brilliance when you watch this film especially when it comes to the action sequences. But, more often than not you are sorely disappointed with choices that are made which won’t be spoiled here. You really wanted to walk out of the theatre liking what you saw on the big screen, unfortunately there is simply not enough to like.
Shailene Woodley, Jai Courtney, and Miles Teller are this films real saving grace. There performances are the only good thing about this film other than the action set pieces that are played out. Woodley really shines in this film, she really has grown as an actress and is really becoming a leading lady in her own right. She has that range as an actress and you can really tell she is trying to take her character on a journey.
One of the biggest issues that this film has is the way the script unfolds. Akiva Goldsman, Brian Duffield and Mark Bomback wrote the screenplay for this film. It is messy, there are plot holes you could drive a truck through and anything but exciting. Except for Duffield these are really seasoned writers and one of them has actually won an Academy Award for his writing ability. Goldsman is also known for his abysmal script for “Batman and Robin” so he is really hit or miss when it comes to writing. For having three veteran writers on staff to help pen the script, you would think you would get a sharp and fast paced screenplay. That is simply not the case with
Director Robert Schwentke phones it in with this movie. After the box office bomb that was “RIPD” it was a shock to see his name attached to this franchise. You get what you pay for when it comes to Schwentke, his compositions, his pace and overall direction is lackluster. However, he was able to get some solid performances from his actors, but most of the credit should go to those actors and not really Schwentke’s overall direction. However, say what you will about his overall direction, he was able to do the action sequences some justice.
The action scenes and sequences were beefed up this time around and they really do nothing for the plot, as fun as they were at time and as interesting as they were shot, there was simply nothing that was groundbreaking or innovative about them.
“Insurgent” fails in more ways than one, and as bad as it is, it is by no means unwatchable. The dark subject matter really help bolster the film a little bit more, but this film fails to bring in new audiences and wow them. “Insurgent” really should have been better made to help get more audiences excited for the upcoming sequels that are already in the pipeline for 2016. Lets just hope that the filmmakers and producers re-think their approach to the future sequels.