The Divergent Series: Insurgent is basically The Maze Runner if it was overly complex. Veronica Roth’s Insurgent is a sequel book with an equally big word as a title. So of course they gave the movie the mouthful of a title The Divergent Series: Insurgent. I really don’t know why studios feel the need to do that. By 2015, I was really on the fence about commiting to another YA franchise released every year. Divergent just barely won me over with its mostly derivative story. Insurgent is another story, because any problem I had before is too much in the sequel. The main focus is tension between factions of the dystopian Chicago. After Erudite nearly killed all of Abnegation with mind controlled Dauntless soldiers, the divergent Tris, her brother Caleb, rival Peter, lover Four, and Four’s estranged father Marcus hideout on the Amity farm. Ray Stevenson sort of has more to do as Marcus.
Makihi Pfeiffer and especially Jai Courtney are much more evil on their pursuit to find divergents. All in an effort for Jeanine Matthews to open some kind of puzzle box. I remember finding Tris very unlikable in the sequel due to her violent tendencies, but the entire movie is uncomfortably violent (and not in an action sort of way). I think I just didn’t like her short hair, because Shailene Woodley’s performance is the strongest part of the movie. Her out of nowhere haircut is mostly thanks to The Fault in Our Stars. The rest of the all-star cast is mostly just there. You have Octavia Spencer as the Amity leader, Daniel Dae Kim as the Candor leader, and Naomi Watts as Four’s estranged mother Evelyn. She leads the homeless factionless people in an attempt to overthrow Erudite.
Peter changes alliances multiple times, but Caleb truly defects when he joins with Erudite. Tris’ Dauntless friends Christina and Tori are found hiding in Candor. A place where Tris faces her past actions with truth serum. The conflict this time is Erudite using a device to force people to commit suicide unless Tris turns herself over. Since Tris is the only person who can open the box as a super divergent. Something that requires even more tests in some kind of tentacle cable simulation. The visuals are the only saving grace during the climax. Apart from Rosa Salazar’s presence, the obvious Maze Runner connection comes from the box revealing a convoluted experiment set up by the founders of the faction based society. An outside world exists beyond the wall in Chicago that sets up another sequel I wasn’t sure I could commit to. Insurgent tries to have its own identity, but it once again feels like everything else in its genre.
Preceded by: Divergent & Followed by: The Divergent Series: Allegiant