‘Insurgent’ Suffers From Convenience and Predictability

Take_Two Logo

Hear “Take Two Movie Reviews” every Saturday and Sunday at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 and 5:45 p.m., on WHAV.

For those who check a certain review website, it’s not uncommon to see that audiences and critics frequently have differing opinions about a film. Seeing a 38 point difference, however, is unusual, and suggests the two groups are looking for different things. Critics are looking for, among other things, a creative concept, an interesting, or at least clever, plot,and good character development.

With “Insurgent,” the second movie from Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” novel trilogy, there are problems in all these areas. The concept is a continuation from the first one, so maybe it gets a pass there. To the extent that critics liked that one better, it’s probably because the concept was fresh and that time was spent fleshing out the dystopian world, where five so-called “factions,” organized by personality type, rule.

The plot suffers from convenience and predictability, despite shocking deaths dropped in to abate this criticism. The character development, while nuanced and effective for the Shailene Woodley’s Tris, and her compatriot and love-interest Four, it is lacking for thesupporting cast. This is particularly true for Kate Winslet’s character, the evil Erudite faction leader, Jeanine, who is left dimensionally stranded by the script, and for Tris’s brother Caleb.

Audiences, on the other hand, who are mostly young and female for this franchise, are digging “Insurgent” for the Tris-Four relationship.

She is a strong, even messianic, leader, but the relationship never degenerates into some contrived “woman wearing the pants” act. It really works for the intended audience, helped along by the portrayal of revolution against societal norms, and dizzying action. The third installment, “Allegiant” will–you guessed it–be divided into two parts and is due next year. Let’s hope the film-making then is resurgent. The raw material exists here to make a film on which audiences and critics can agree.