Sunday, 12 April 2015

Thoughts On Insurgent Movie (Spoilers)

Alright, I'm going to be straight up honest with you: this is going to be more of a rant than a review.  Another thing I want to mention before I start is that I thought Insurgent was okay as a movie.  I just didn't think it was good as a book to movie adaptation.  I understand that things can, and need to, be changed, and maybe upon rewatching this movie I will like it better.  But for now, I am going to focus on my first opinions.  This is also going to be filled to the brim with SPOILERS for the movie and the book as well as Allegiant, so if you don't want to be spoiled do not read on.

Now, the Divergent trilogy is quite close to my heart.  The first book was something amazing, and made me feel invincible.  I loved the world and I loved going through Dauntless training and experiencing everything Tris did.  After the first movie, I got all the same feelings that the book gave me - and that's the main thing I look for in a book-to-movie adaptation.  The Insurgent book was just as enthralling for me as Divergent, however I just didn't feel the same excitement after watching the movie.  In fact, there was very little that matched the book at all - not just the feeling.  I understand that the movie is an interpretation of the book, but if even the feeling isn't right, it's not going to work for me.

One disappointing thing was that some of my favourite scenes weren't a part of the movie.  Tris on peace serum, anyone?  What about the part where they are advised not to eat the bread?  I feel these scenes were important to bring light and humour to the story as well as serving the purpose of showing how messed up the faction system really is.  Then of course I have to mention that not only were my favourite scenes cut, but so were my favourite characters.  Beautiful, bubbly, friendly Marlene's character is reduced to a pointless death.  I guess I'll go further into that scene now, since it's come up.

This scene, where there are three people walking toward the edge of a building or whatever that wall was, made me furious for a few reasons.  First, let's discuss the fact that no one really cares about Hector yet, because he's barely made an appearance, or Marlene, who hasn't even got a name at this point.  The only reason I cared about Christina was because she was in the first movie - otherwise I wouldn't know too much about her either.  Then there's the fact that the death was 100% preventable in a variety of different ways.  The main thing to consider is that there is a whole crowd of Dauntless and Candor just standing around watching.  Therefore:

1) Instead of only Tori and Tris running up the stairs to grab two of the characters, someone else (like, maybe, Four?) could have ran up with them to help.
2) A few people could have gone and tried to catch Marlene.
3) The whole crowd could have created a human net

Seriously, it's not like they were moving all that fast - there was plenty of time.

Back to the missing characters: There was no Zeke or Shauna at all.  Lynn was there, but barely.  There was pretty much no Marcus or Jack Kang.  They made a point of including Uriah this time around, but though it was nice to see him, did he really serve a point?  I suppose he gave Tris the line of "scary boyfriend" which was used in the simulation scene, but he wasn't the funny character I loved.  Instead, that person was... Peter?  Considering I absolutely hated him in the books, it was weird that I appreciated his presence in this movie.  He was so funny.  I'm still trying to decide if part of this is due to loving Miles Teller in the The Spectacular Now movie, or if it was all due to Insurgent.

I think my biggest issues with this movie all stemmed from the mysterious box.  It makes me angry just thinking about it.  First of all, somehow Jeanine knows that you need a strong Divergent person to open the box.  For some reason, they have to pass a simulation related to each of the factions to get the box to open.  To do this, you need to be connected to some weird as heck black tubes that fall out of the ceiling and cause your body to defy gravity.  Yeah.  Of course this led to the creation of the divergence measuring device...What the heck was that?  I thought you were either divergent, or you weren't, especially considering the trait is determined by genetics.  On top of this, it turns Tris into 'the chosen one' which I desperately did not want her to be.  I liked that Tris could have been any random divergent, especially in the Insurgent book when she is the only one selfless enough to give herself up to Erudite.

I also didn't like how Tris' testing went.  I loved how in the book she demands to see all her results and have them explained to her - like the images of her brain and what that meant.  In this movie, we don't see any of that.  It also reduces Jeanine's character to a simple villain who only wants what is best for herself.  In the book, she is shown to be curious - she wants to understand how divergents work.  In the movie, she just wants one that can open the box.  Which brings me to Tris' "death" scene.  There were a few things I hated about this.  Firstly, Jeanine goes against her smart Erudite nature and pushes Tris further during the simulations than she could.  She knew that if she kept the sim going that Tris was going to die - the various machines showed that her body was failing.  The Jeanine in the books would have been way too smart to have pushed her that far - especially if she knew that Tris was the only chance of opening that box, considering she is 100% divergent!  I also really don't think that Peter would have counted Tris not killing him, in a simulation no less, as reason to set up this scheme to get her out of Erudite.  In the book, Tris actually saves his life at Amity in a real situation.  Those two circumstances are very different - especially with the knowledge that Tris is usually aware that simulations are simulations.  I also really don't think that sparing a life constitutes as passing an Abnegation test.  Anyway.

There were plenty of little details that were changed in the movie which I truly believe affects the character development and the plot of the next book.  These include, but are not limited to: the people who actually kill Eric and Jeanine; Tris doesn't struggle with guns after Will's death; Tris has already got over her fear of intimacy clearly; there is no tension between Tris and Four due to what Marcus says and there is no scene with Four punching Marcus.  I also didn't like how Tris and Four were happy to injure (and kill, I think) a bunch of people on the train filled with factionless.  I don't think two teens originally from Abnegation would hurt the factionless, especially when Four knows that they won't attack once they know his name.  I understand that they needed a bit of action in the movie, but it just didn't sit right with me.  It also bothered me that they ate off of plates whilst they were staying with the factionless - a minor issue, I know, but with all the other things going on, it just infuriated me further.

I won't go into how the name of Edith Prior wasn't mentioned, because I think this post is already getting too long, just know that it didn't escape my notice.

Thanks for reading - I'm sorry that this was such a negative post!  Let me know what you thought of the Insurgent movie, especially if you can think of anything you liked that I missed because I was blinded by my angry emotions!


  1. I agree! As a film I really enjoyed it even more because I went to the see it with very little expectations but as an adaptation? It was crap and I didn't even remember much about the book but as I was watching the movie, I was like: "nope, this isn't what happened" over and over again. But, I enjoyed myself and I had a nice time. My favourite thing was Peter; I laughed so much even though he's nothing like the book character. The thing that upset me the most was Uriah. I mean, he's one of my favourite characters and they didn't treat him right or any other side character for that matter. I don't even know how they're gonna make believable what happens in Allegiant because there is no real friendship on the screen so yeah.... and I also felt the suicide moment to be quite crappy and not done properly. I remember how people got so infuriated when Suki Waterhouse was cast as Marlene because she was not an actor but taking into account how much we saw of that character, I don't see the point in complaining, really.....

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had a good experience anyway too - I went to a special cinema in the city with my mum and sister to see it. Yeah I haven't read the book since before Allegiant came out, so it was pretty bad that even then I could still pick out how much was different!
      Yes! Peter was great!
      I'm so sad about Uriah too. You're right - there is no real friendship on the screen.
      People got mad about that? Marlene could probably have been played by a monkey and it wouldn't have made much difference.


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