DVD Review: Insurgent

We tried to keep an open mind. We applaud ourselves for doing so when trying all new things. We liked “The Hunger Games” trilogy just fine, so we figured “Insurgent,” the second film in “The Divergent Series” trilogy, would be entertaining enough.

“Insurgent” picks up where the first “Divergent” film, left off: post-apocalyptic Chicago is walled off from the rest of the world and divided into five factions based on personality and ability. But there is one group of young people who fit in the “other” category — and among them are Divergents. These are the ones who pose a threat to the system. (It is easy enough to pick up on the plot even if you skipped the first flick).

Strong-willed Tris, along with her dark and handsome boyfriend, Four, (both Divergents) are on the run after learning that Jeanine (some name for a villain, huh?) and her soldiers of the upper-class faction of Erudites, plan to capture all Divergents.

A civil war is brewing among the factions as they plan to rise up against the Erudites. Jeanine, played by a power-suited Kate Winslet, sees the stubborn, reckless, angry Tris as her biggest obstacle, and wants her killed. There’s a great cast of supporting females: Naomi Watts, as Four’s mother, shows up, as does Octavia Spencer briefly. Shailene Woodley showed great potential in the indies we’ve seen her in (“The Descendants,” “The Spectacular Now”), and she’s good here too, even with stilted dialogue and a bad haircut.

If all of this sounds a little familiar, it’s because it shares far too many similarities with “The Hunger Games” series, down to the aesthetics and the characters’ odd names. One could chalk it up to coincidence, but “The Hunger Games” books were written several years before the “Divergent” series. (And while we’re at it, “Battle Royale,” a Japanese novel about a group of middle schoolers who are forced to fight to the death, came out about a decade before “The Hunger Games.” There is nothing new under the sun.)

We will say that “Insurgent” is much more Parental Guidance Suggested than any of the “Hunger Games” movies we’ve seen. There are many more executions and an “adult situation” that you won’t get in the fairly tame “Hunger Games” movies.

While there are some differing plot points, “Insurgent” is a watered-down, less edgy, more predictable version of “The Hunger Games.” After all, how many movies about attractive teenagers planning an uprising to combat their societies’ unfairness can there be?


Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. [email protected]
Taylor Bigler Mace

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