Insurgent (2015)

Insurgent (2015)On the surface, Insurgent appears to be a substantial upgrade to Divergent. The cast is fleshed out with the likes of Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer, we’ve got a new director (Robert Schwentke, responsible for The Time Traveller’s Wife and, uh, R.I.P.D.) and we’ve even moved to the third dimension. Visually, we’ve definitely stepped things up a lot, trading the lifelessness of Divergent for a robust aesthetic that looks better: more substantial, more expensive.

Unfortunately the advances are all surface-level. Divergent’s coming-of-age allegory was marred by some unfortunate cultish-Christian subtext, but at least there was some substance beneath its familiar dystopian shell. Insurgent is a hollow husk, cobbling together a story around a tired MacGuffin, a series of “Chosen One” tropes and a couple of arbitrary double-crosses. It’s the kind of story a teenager would construct by mimicking the conventions of her favourite novels, without truly understanding why they resonate. The cast is undeniably impressive (minus Theo James, whose talents don’t extend past his chiselled physique), but save Miles Teller they’re adrift in a muddy stream of shitty dialogue. It’s particularly depressing to watch Kate Winslet delivering line after line of generic nonsense, the light dying in her eyes. Avoid.

1.5 stars

10 thoughts on “Insurgent (2015)

    • The plot was very straightforward in this one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it makes a lot of ‘sense.’ It’s all “trust us, there’s a good reason character X wants to do thing Y” but we never really find out what that reason is.

  1. Woof. Thanks for the review buddy, I will absolutely take your advice and avoid. It baffles me someone of Kate Winslet’s stature is in this.

    • Indeed. WTF are these high-qual actors in this?? If it is just for the dosh, which I suspect is the case, then I lose respect for those actgors. True artists don’t craft their work for money. Unfortunately that notion is almost dead in modern society.

    • I’ve heard that. The plot here really comes across as someone scrambling to write a sequel to a book that was never intended to be a series.

  2. Congrats on sitting thru this mate. Seriously. I fell asleep during the first one, these YA dystopian features are getting out of hand IMO. This, the first one, Maze Runner, The Giver, its just getting silly


    • I have no problem with YA novels – even ones that hew closely to the same basic genre – provided they have something to say. The Hunger Games, for example, resonates with teenagers for some damn good reasons. But, yeah, this particular series is not worth anyone’s time.

      • Oh don’t get me wrong, I have massive respect for the Hunger Games. But it feels like half the films showing at the multiplexes are YA dystopia/sci-fi. Project Almanac, Jupiter, Seventh Son, they just don’t stop coming!!

  3. Pingback: Critical Dissent: Debating Insurgent with Alexandra Donald | ccpopculture

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