Friday, March 20, 2015

Movie Review: Insurgent

On Wednesday, March 18, I had the opportunity (courtesy of Lionsgate) to see an early screening of Insurgent! I figured release day would be a good day to talk about it. I didn't necessarily enjoy myself as much as I thought I would, but that has more to do with the fact that the screening I attended was terribly run than the movie. (We were forced to wait outside in below freezing temperatures for over an hour, only to receive terrible seats do to reserved seating that much of went unused).

Now, for the movie!

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. Tris, Four, and the gang are still on the run. Jeanine is still hunting them, convinced that Divergents are all that is wrong in the world. One of the things I liked a lot about the movie, was that the pace started out high, and stayed high. You are never bored during this film!

This movie is a lot bigger than the last one. We get to see the factions we missed out on in Divergent: Amity and Candor. The settings were beautiful, and it was clear that the filmmakers really put a lot of time and energy into bringing the world of the book to life. Along with the bigger world we get some new characters, and some cool new technology as well.

Shailene Woodley is back and brilliant in this film. She's proven to us before that she can pull off emotional scenes with ease, (and make us cry with her) and the scene involving a candor trial and truth serum is no exception. There isn't even a hint of artifice in her performance, which I love, because it allows me to believe in the things in this film that stretch our reality.

Theo James steps up and is a great partner to Woodley. Though the burn-the-world-down devotion he shows to Tris might seem silly on another actor, there's an earnestness that he brings to Four's character that makes it work. Plus, he's a total badass in this film. Just saying.

This movie isn't perfect however. The writing credit for the script is split between three people, and in places it's painfully obvious. Most often this appears in the dialogue, which at times becomes stilted, awkward, overly formal and on the nose. The fact that the script is weak lessens the performances of great actors like Kate Winslet and Jai Courtney. We've seen them do great things, but the script doesn't serve them well here, which makes for some awkward moments.

A quick shoutout for Miles Teller who steals the scenes he's in with his quick and evil wit as Peter, and for Ansel Elgort, who plays a Caleb who you love to hate!

On the whole I think that Insurgent is a good follow up to Divergent. It won't be a disappointment to fans of the series, and paves the way nicely for the film (films) of the final book Allegiant. I'll definitely be seeing it again, this time hopefully from a better seat!

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