johnlink ranks INSURGENT (2015)

Interrupting one science fiction series about a dystopian universe with a nefarious villain in power for the second film in a lesser-known science fiction series about the same thing. The first film in this series, DIVERGENT, was a decent enough flick, even if it felt a bit like a HUNGER GAMES copycat. This sequel popped up on HBO and my wife is a huge fan of star Shailene Woodley, so it was an easy enough decision to make.

Insurgent2-1024x683

I watched INSURGENT (2015) on 12.12.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

INSURGENT is another pretty good movie in a pretty good series. It isn’t wonderful, but it’s a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment. This sequel focuses on the ‘Divergent’ Tris (Shailene Woodley) who basically is the perfect balance of all of the different segments of population to which the surviving members of humanity have divided themselves. She, and other, divergents, have been labeled an enemy of the people by the villainous Jeanine (Kate Winslet). On the run, Tris and her boyfriend Four (Theo James) must stay a step ahead of chief henchmen Max (Mekhi Phifer) and Eric (Jai Courtney).

The movie suffers a bit from a cliched script. We know Tris is ready for a change right off the bat, because she cuts her own hair with dull scissors and starts walking around with her chin up. Mommy issues abound in this film, some from Tris and the dead Natalie (Ashley Judd), but mostly from Four and his resistance-leading mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts). The movie culminates in a passing-the-test moment which feels both like a formality and like a derivative of a Hunger Games scenario.

The movie also does a fair bit right. The action – especially a chase scene ending in a train fight – is high level. The acting, as the list of high-end actors suggests, is solid. Woodley is up to the task of carrying this film, her performance is nuanced and strong. The effects are good, except in the computer simulations at the film’s end (where they don’t necessarily need to be good, since it is all a simulation).

INSURGENT is not afraid to deal with death. The first movie kills off a couple of major characters, and this second one ends it all by really blowing everything up and starting anew. It is not unlike the first MATRIX film, both in its content and the way it opens things up in its final act. INSURGENT will never be a classic like the MATRIX, but it is a fair comparison. In some ways, the end of this film almost plays like the end of a season of a television show. One set of villains is moving on, but it seems like we are being introduced to the newer (badder) baddies.

This, again, was a good enough film to keep me entertained. I’ll certainly come back for the rest of the series, even if it doesn’t stand up on a level with HUNGER GAMES.

SCORES

FILM: 5; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 7; WRITING: 4

5+8+7+4+0=24

FINAL SCORE: 6 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on December 15, 2015.

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