Saturday, March 21, 2015

Insurgent - Movie Review


Director: Robert Schwentke

Written By: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback (screenplay), (based off the novel by) Veronica Roth

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James

Released: March 20, 2015

119 minutes

Produced By: Neil Burger, Lucy Fisher, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Pouya Shahbazian, Barry H. Waldman, Douglas Wick, and John Wildermuth

I have to say up front that it's been since 2012 that I read Insurgent, and I've only read it one time. Insurgent was such an emotionally draining book that I haven't quite wanted to re-read it yet. Plus with knowing how things end in Allegiant...yeah. Even though this was a really good series, book-wise, I haven't been driven to re-read the 2nd or 3rd books yet. That being said, the little details aren't going to be things that I remember so much as the main events. So keep that in mind when I'm relating something that happened in the movie to something that happened in the book.

Even though I don't remember the little details, there were obviously some fairly major changes made from the book to the movie. There always are. I didn't get bogged down with those too much. I think for the most part, the major events were mostly intact, and if not really intact as far as events go, then usually the emotion behind the events remained. I will say...It was obvious that Tris was really struggling with the deaths of her parents as well as her own hand in Will's death. Shailene Woodley did a wonderful job in the Candor truth syrum scene. But, I still felt like Tris from the movie came off as very strong--even though suffering. That was just not my experience with reading the book. I zeroed in on the way Tris felt in the book. She felt guilt, yes. She didn't feel like she could forgive herself, yes. But it went further than that. When she hands herself over to Jeanine in the book, Tris is doing that more out of self-sabotage or self-punishment than any self-righteous or self-sacrificing reasons. And that is key to the contrast between the events that take place in Allegiant. I didn't feel like the movie did that exactly right.

The actors did a wonderful job. I mentioned Shailene Woodley's portrayal of the truth syrum scene. She's quickly becoming a favorite actress of mine because she really makes me feel what the character is feeling. Theo James did a wonderful job playing Four. He's so tough. Easily believable that he has only 4 fears. And his chemistry with Shailene seems genuine. Ansel Elgort...well that's like a whole different ballgame. I mean in the last movie I saw him in (The Fault in Our Stars), he's playing opposite Shailene Woodley as Augustus Waters--a most beloved character. And so for him to step into the role of Caleb took some adjusting. Yes, he'd played Caleb in Divergent, but he didn't have a huge role, and that was before being Augustus. At one point during Insurgent when Caleb, Tris, and Four are running to jump onto a train and Caleb is struggling to run fast enough, Husband leans over and whispers "He has cancer!!!" I couldn't help but crack up. Seriously though, Ansel does a good job transitioning to Caleb because you can see his cowardice, and you can see at times his struggle with Tris being his sister versus not actually being on Tris's side. I thought that was well played.

Other than the emotional rollercoaster Tris goes through not being quite as brutal as the book, the other there was really only one other moment that caused me to overthink a bit. I don't remember it happening in the book, but I couldn't say for certain that it didn't. And I don't want to really say what it was for spoilers sake--both movie and for Allegiant.

All in all, I thought this was a really solid movie. I really enjoyed it. I love the casting. Visual effects were really good. And even when events from book to movie were different, for the most part the emotion behind the events stayed consistent. I'm giving Insurgent 4 Stars. Have you seen Insurgent? What did you think? Let me know!


  1. I am going with my book club on Tuesday! So excited to see it. Glad you enjoyed it - I feel like they may have done an even better job than the book

    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  2. I loved Divergent, but was a bit disapointed with Insurgent and still haven't read Allegiant, so I can understand why you never felt the need to re-read the second book. The first book in the series is definitely the best one. Tris was prettty much a mess in the book, although having her come across stronger in the movie might have worked better for them. Great review and I am glad to hear you enjoyed the movie, you make it sound almost better as the book itself.

  3. I loved Divergent and I can't wait to see this. I feel the same as you and like that the emotions are left the same as the book even if that means changing some scenes around. I haven't been able to read this again either, it's a tough one emotionally. Thanks for sharing your review.

  4. I just read Insurgent this week. I know i had to read it before I see the movie. I see why some people had trouble with the book, but the ending more than made up for the dragging, in my opinion. I am really excited to see the movie, even more so after reading your review. Thanks!

  5. It was action packed and had a really good flow.

  6. Oh I hope you enjoyed it! You'll have to let me know if you did! Thanks for stopping by Missie!

  7. I was disappointed with Insurgent as a book too. Tris was really struggling emotionally and that was often painful to read about. I think most people seem to agree that having her appear stronger in the movie actually makes the movie better. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Lola!

  8. I hope you're able to see it soon, Sharon, and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  9. Yes, I would definitely recommend reading the book before seeing the movie in almost all situations, but I imagine the differences between the book and movie will stand out to you a bit more. I hope you still enjoy it! And thanks for stopping by and commenting Karen!