Insurgent Movie Review

Insurgent movie poster. Source: MTV

Insurgent movie poster. Source: MTV

There will be spoilers! If you have not read the book nor seen the movie, please come back when you do!

Please read my reviews for all the books and the Divergent movie before continuing on, too, please.

Veronica Roth‘s second installment in the Divergent series, “Insurgent,” opened last weekend and I went to see it with my husband. Frankly, I went in with kind of low-medium expectations. The first movie was pretty good, following the book decently, but the trailers I had seen for the second movie didn’t really impress me at all.

Well, frankly, it reached my expectations. Actually, it was worse than my expectations.

It started out kind of strong. The group was in Amity just trying to get by and hide from Jeannine and her lackeys and all of that. But from there it just kind of went downhill.

I’m just going to list everything I found wrong with it from book to movie, then comment on everything else afterward.

Book-to-Movie Adaptation Impressions

  • Where the hell was Tris’s PTSD? For a great majority of the second book she was so overcome with grief and shock and horror over having killed her friend, Will, in the first book that she literally could stand to touch a gun. And yet within the first five minutes they have her 1) wielding a knife at Peter like she’s a freakin’ ninja, and 2) she’s carrying a huge gun and shooting at people like it’s nothing. Um. Uh. No. I was so peeved within the first five to ten minutes of the movie when I realized they weren’t going to play with her PTSD. Just. UGH.
  • The Factionless on the train was cool and everything, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason it just came off weird. And then when they went to the warehouse… Where the hell did they get all of this technology and gear to make it by? They were supposed to be living in run down shacks and stuff, and yet there were no such things lying around anywhere in the movie. I just… okay, I could see how it worked visually for the movie, but in terms of book-to-movie? Nu-uh.
  • Tobias’s mother could have been his sister. That is all. I seriously felt sexual tension through the screen and it was extremely uncomfortable. Literally the whole theater laughed quietly at the fact that the actress playing his mom was literally probably two years older than him.
  • Where the hell did the box thing that had to be unlocked with Edith Prior’s message come in? I don’t remember that in the book at all. I thought it was just on a chip or something. And the whole beating the simulations thing? Yeah, cool in concept, but it didn’t exist in the book.
  • Where was the uprising and take over by the Factionless? That was a MAJOR part in the book and they cut it out completely! Not. Happy.
  • Also, WHY was the entire population going for the fence? It was only supposed to be like… five people or something. I just… NO!
  • I did like Caleb’s betrayal as it was portrayed in the movie from the book. Good job.
  • Peter was the highlight of the whole movie. Good job, Miles Teller, for being such a great actor and portraying Peter beautifully.
  • Oh, and wasn’t it supposed to be Tris who kills Eric, not Four? Like, where was the retribution for Tris? I just. I don’t understand.
  • Remember when Edith Prior’s name was mentioned at the end of the book and all hell broke loose? Yeah. Where was that in the movie? The projection didn’t even mention her name. It was supposed to set off some events in the last book.
  • OH. My biggest problem from the movie: TRIS was supposed to kill Jeanine. NOT Evelyn. What. The. Hell. That was another MAJOR part from the book where Tori was supposed to catch Tris and there would have been a trial, etc. *unleash the fury*

Okay, I think I got all of my frustration out. If I missed anything, it’s because I’m choosing to forget it.

Now let me comment on specifics of the actors, CGI, plot, how they’re going to move forward, etc.

General Movie Impressions

  • Shailene Woodley was a great actress, as always, playing really good at emotions when in Candor and other intense parts. Her chemistry with the other actors was great, too.
  • Naomi Watts (Evelyn) was too damn young looking. Pick an older actress, or do a better makeup job.
  • The CGI wasn’t as realistic in this movie as the last one. It looked artificial and felt artificial. Before, I felt like it was believable, like what was happening and being used was actually happening to the characters. But this time? No.
  • The acting in general seemed forced. They all seemed uncomfortable in their own skin, like they were trying to force the scenes out. Like I said, Miles Teller did a fantastic job portraying his character and loosened up the strain a bit.
  • The fight scenes were so fast and so blurred together that I could never see what was happening. Who hit who? What just happened? I couldn’t figure it out.

They took a lot of liberties that I was not happy with. They could have made the movie so much better, they could have shown what really happened in the book and included some flair here and there no problem. But this movie was a hot mess.

Despite all of these complaints, I did still enjoy it for the separate entity that it was. Yes, there were a crap ton of problems, not just with the fact of how far they strayed from the book, but the quality of the movie, the CGI, and the acting, too. But I could still see decent films developing after this; I just hope they don’t suck as much as this one.

My overall rating for this film: 5.5/10 stars.

Do I recommend seeing it? Sure. If you want to see it, go for it. Do I recommend going in with high hopes? No.

Did you see the movie? What are your thoughts? Let me know.

Divergent Series Review + Movie Review

Titles: Divergent; Insurgent; Allegiant; Four
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Books 1-3 + Novella bind up of the Divergent series
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Dates: April 25, 2011; May 1, 2012; October 22, 2013; July 8, 2014
Genres: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 487; 525; 526; 208
Formats: Purchased Paperback + Hardcovers

Hello all! Today I’m going to be reviewing the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I’ve already done the various videos about each book in depth, so if you want to take a look, I’ll link them at the bottom of each review section.

Just so you know, any review I do on this blog will be spoiler free unless otherwise stated. Sometimes my videos will include spoilers, so fair warning now!

divergentDivergent Review

I thought that this book was very enticing. I will admit that I did see the movie before I read the book, and though I’m not a fan of doing that, I was still able to make comparisons and pick out my favorite parts from both book and movie.

So, when I read Divergent I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had first heard of it. I thought the premise of the story was a good one, and when I started to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun, epic adventure that follows the journey of a 16 year old girl named Tris as she leaves her faction behind to seek the thrilling life of her new faction. She meets some interesting people along the way who help mold her into the person she becomes, including Four, who is a mysterious, and oftentimes harsh, guy who is not only her initiation instructor, but someone Tris becomes very close to.

As the story progressed I was surprised with how much time was spent talking about the Dauntless training and the various things that happened in Dauntless. It’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but it was different from the movie, in my opinion. I actually enjoyed the book more because of it and felt that I got a really good feel of what living in Dauntless would be like.

The antagonist of the book, Jeannine Matthews, is a good villain. She has a goal she wants to reach and will get rid of anyone standing in her way, literally, including the Divergent – people like Tris. Jeannine is manipulative and cunning, making for a good villain that you can’t help but be mad at.

And then there’s Eric. I don’t like him.

The book is well written and the content can pull you in. As Veronica Roth stated in a Q&A in the book, she wanted to create a character that would cause the plot to keep driving forward. I believe Tris did just that.

The story left off with a cliffhanger and there was definitely room for a sequel to come into the mix, which I will talk about… now.

I give this a 4.75/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review

insurgentInsurgent Review

As far as sequels go, I wasn’t completely disappointed with Insurgent. Some sequels are often lack-luster and can leave the reader feeling like it was just filler and didn’t need to be there, but Roth did a good job in presenting a sequel that followed the story line and didn’t disappoint.

It starts off with Tris dealing with a lot of emotional damage after the last book and it makes for a tough beginning for her as she and some of her friends have to lie in hiding from Jeannine Matthews and those that follow her. Though this doesn’t work out and the group has to run for their lives, they still manage to escape Jeannine’s clutches – for now.

The premise of this book focuses mainly on how much Jeannine wants to get rid of the Divergent. There’s a big secret surrounding them that isn’t discovered until the end of the book, but leading up to it there is a lot more action, bloodshed, and loss, but also a lot more budding romance between Four and Tris.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will tell you that I do recommend this book and I give it a 4.5/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Insurgent Review

allegiantAllegiant Review

The third installment in the Divergent series let me down a little. I was expecting a different story, a different ending, and though the ending itself was heart-wrenching, it still made for a good ending. The premise of the story, though, felt off for the series as a whole. Let me explain why.

The premise of this book was following Tris, Four, and various other members of different factions outside of the fence lines. The point of view of this book changes, though, and is told from both Tris’s view and Four’s view. It surprised me and I questioned why Roth did it that way, but as I continued reading it did make sense for the story itself.

But that’s where it started to fall short.

The main plot to this last book was about genetic damage and how a corporation outside of the fence, known as the Bureau, was conducting experiments and watching them the whole time from outside the city limits. Our main heroes discover what they were really up to and try to stop them.

Now, this book had a lot of potential. I think if this were written for a different series, a different set of characters, it would have worked. But it didn’t seem to flow as well as Insurgent had from Divergent in terms of plot. In terms of story line, there was a continuous flow that occurred.

I give this book a 3.5/5 stars, but if you’ve read the first two books, you may as well read this one, too.

Corresponding video: Allegiant Review

fourFour Review

This was a novella collection of the Divergent series told from Four’s perspective. I enjoyed the collection and it was a fast and easy read as it told about Tobias’s past and how he joined Dauntless, flew through the ranks, and discovered a few secrets.

There were a few major continuity issues, though, and the parts that were included that made it that way really didn’t need to be and it took away from his stories overall.

I give this novella collection a 4/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Four Review

Divergent Movie Review

As stated above, I saw the movie before I read the book, but when I did see it I was hooked from beginning to end. I was rooting for Tris, I was rooting for her relationship with Four, I was captivated by the world of it, and I wanted Jeannine Matthews to pay for what she did so bad. The action scenes were enticing, the script was good, and the acting was well done.

Yes, there was one cheesy line at the end that really didn’t need to be there. Yes, the actor who plays Four, Theo James, is obviously not 18, but that’s okay. Yes, it was different from the book in the end.

If they had stuck with the original premise of the book at the end, I think it would have made for a much better lead into the next movie, but it’s obviously too late to change that. Overall, this was a well done book-to-movie adaptation and I rate it 4/5 stars.

So, there you have it! A bunch of reviews in one giant post. I probably won’t do this again unless it’s another series that I finish, but I will try to keep up with this blog, as well as my vlog, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review