Review: ‘Insurgent’ a mediocre and muddled mess


Tristan Baez, Writer

Following last years young adult novel hit ‘Divergent,’ ‘Insurgent’ continues the story of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her inner struggle with the somber memories of her wrong doings whilst fighting in the rebellion against the leader, Jeanine (Kate Winslet). Boyfriend and ally in arms, Four (Theo James) helps her fight along side the rest of the rebels in order to help undo the corruption of the government in the distopian society.

Although based on a novel with a beginning-to-end story, the film seems like it doesn’t really know where it wants to go. Many of the plot points of the story are either boring or very predictable, to the point where nothing is surprising. Many of the characters don’t have a lot to do, and feel like they are just there to fill up the screen, which is a shame due to the fact that there is a lot of talented actors and actresses involved.

While being based upon a book and already deemed “unoriginal,” many of the shots and motifs seem very unoriginal, seemingly taking ideas from ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Avatar,’ all in which end up feeling like “been there, done that” shots, missing out on an opportunity to change up the YA movie genre.

Shailene Woodley gives good performance after another, and continues the trend in ‘Insurgent.’ Her character is really fleshed out and given more dynamics to work with to make Tris more interesting. Throughout the film, remorse is a large portion of Tris’ personality, and is portrayed quite well.

Unfortunately, Woodley is the only actor who gives a solid performance other than Miles Teller, whom was very entertaining but a one-note character for a majority of the film. Four, played by Theo James, has also felt like a one-note character in both films, and has yet to show off some new emotions or personality in which the viewer can connect to. Kate Winslet’s performance will not go down as one of her best, but isn’t entirely her fault, as her character doesn’t have a lot to do.

Most of the action is superb and very well shot, and there is no shaky-cam to be seen. There are really long extended takes, which look phenomenal and show the dedication from the actors to display consistency and hard-work. A majority of the film has built practical sets, which look fantastic and give a grounded feel to the movie. Some of the “simulation” scenes look really awesome but it is easy to tell that there is a ton of green screen and quite a bit of overuse of CGI, but overall looks vivacious.

While the main character is intriuging and given a great performance from Shailene Woodley, many of the characters seem dull and boring, which coincides with the story itself. Well shot action, and good sets overshadow a lot of the unoriginality that comes along with it. ‘Insurgent’ is a mediocre movie and will be getting a two-part finale in ‘Allegiant’ in 2016 and 2017.

Final Verdict: 5/10