Blu-ray Review: ‘Insurgent’ Is A Dumbfounded Dazzler

The first time I watched ‘Divergent’ I was not to horribly impressed. It seemed to me like someone decided to take ‘The Hunger Games’ training sequences and stretched them to a feature length film. I liked some of the characters, but the film left much to be desired. By chance, I ended up seeing the movie again at my aunts house and most of my issues with the film slipped away. I still thought it was a bit devoid of plot, but it was entertaining enough to casually watch. The most important thing I got was that the second movie had to be better.

For the most part, I was right. The new film in the series is certainly better than the first one. Yet, that’s mostly just because there is a lot more happening in it. I’m not sure that it’s because what actually does happen is truly compelling enough to warrant the full price of an admission ticket (I won’t be paying to take my kids to see it) or if it’s just rental worthy. I guess you will have to decide how interested you really are.

The movie picks up right where the other left off. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are running from the Dauntless jerks who are working for evil Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and they are forced to hide out in a clan called Amity. The head of this clan is a super peaceful Octavia Spencer. Sadly for them, their little sanctuary doesn’t last long. They are caught and flee to another group called the Factionless. This group is lead by Naomi Watts and she just happens to be Four or Tobias’s mother.

In the middle of all this, Jeanine has found a box that she believes will restore the people’s faith in their system. However, only a super bad ass divergent can open the thing. That bad ass divergent is Tris and when she finally gets plugged in to the box is when the movie finally gets kind of cool in a ‘Matrix’ kind of way. Before then though, a lot of people have to die and armies of mad descending factions must band together.

This all leads to an ending that is exciting, but also quite dumbfounded. I wish I could discuss the details of this ending with you, but it could ruin the final act for many people. Yet, whether you buy the ending or believe it makes any logical sense could largely determine how much you like this movie. Let’s just say that if you are fully sold on the idea that a system of factions like the ones in this movie are remotely possible then you will probably have little problem with the ending or this movie in general. If not, then you may feel the way I do.

I like these characters, for the most part. Shailene Woodley is very good as Tris and is given a few scenes to really show her chops here. Winslet, Watts, and Spencer also do a good job with the material they are given. Yet, I still feel that this is just thin material to begin with. The concept of these factions struck me as ridiculous from the first moment I heard about them in the first movie and that only becomes more clear as you visit them.

Which means you have to ask yourself if it’s worthy of your money. For me, it’s not really. For others, that are friends of ‘Divergent’, this movie may be a dream come true. There is certainly some cool stuff inside the simulation sequences. The questions is whether the rest is enough to sustain audiences.

Nathan Ligon

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