Sunday, March 22, 2015
Sunday Funday: Insurgent in 3D - Review
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Actual rating: 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 full stars.
Beginning immediately after Divergent left off, Tris and company now find themselves wanted by Jeanine and Erudite. Jeanine has been looking for a mysterious box which contains important information from the founders. The real kicker is she found it stashed away in Tris's home. However, Jeanine cannot open it on her own and it turns out that she'll need to use divergents to do that. The box requires the person to open it to pass all of the brutal simulations for each faction - and three guesses as to who will have the best chance of opening that box. If you guessed Tris, then you would be correct.
If you're probably thinking that description doesn't sound like the source material, you would also be correct, but fortunately the movie works. In fact, I think I actually liked this one a little more than I liked Divergent. The box helps tie the overall story together and it also streamlines it quite a bit. It's more accessible to those who aren't already familiar with the source material. I especially liked the opening scene with Jeanine's voiceover. It manages to recap the previous movie and setup the world quite a bit more than anything in Divergent did. I also enjoyed the presentation of the simulations - they looked great in 3D, by the way, as did the action. I preferred that this time around the movie is more action and sci-fi heavy with less romance. I also liked seeing more of the world and the other factions (Octavia Spencer as Johanna and Daniel Dae Kim as Jack Kang were both good considering how little screen time they had).
As for the aspects/changes I didn't like so much, I really wish we could have seen more of the world. More time should have been spent with Amity and Candor. I was really looking forward to the peace serum in the bread, guys. The truth serum scene in Candor is less touching in the film - it suffers from being sped through like some other aspects of the film.
In regards to character changes, Marcus and Tori almost aren't in the movie at all. They're practically extras - and if you've read the book, you know how important they are. If, like me, you liked Uriah, Zeke, Marlene, Shauna, and Lynn and was disappointed at their absence from the first film, chances are you'll be doubly disappointed here. I was excited when the castings news came out that some of the Dauntless-born would be in the sequel, but unfortunately their involvement is minimal - nearly blink and you miss it.
Evelyn is introduced, as played by Naomi Watts, and she looks far too young to be Four's mother. If I didn't already know, I would have guessed she played Four's slightly older sister. Although, I know the actors are sixteen-ish years apart in real life, it was disconcerting to hear Four call Evelyn his mother. There was one character change I did like, however, and that's Peter. I didn't like Peter's portrayal in the first film partially because he was really watered down, but here Miles Teller's performance was very good. I'd go so far as to say that he steals the show.
The one big change that really bugged me was the ending. The big reveal at the end of the book was awesome and it was one of my favorite parts, but in the movie it's lackluster and disappointing. I think I may have actually said, "That's it?!" Also, Jeanine's fate is also different and Tori, with her new status as an extra, has nothing to do with it.
I could also talk about some of the other issues with the movie (for example: how does Jeanine figure out how to unlock the box in the first place and create the whole testing system?), but I really want to touch on Caleb's running. It's laughable, not in a good way, and takes down the intense nature of the scene. I heard that the actor did it purposefully to show that Caleb is brainy and not athletic like Four or Tris, so that it makes sense when he says he's not cut out for what they're going through. Regardless, it still looked really dumb to see him flailing around when everyone else is running like their lives are on the line.
Regardless of the changes and my issues with them, I liked Insurgent quite a bit as movie. I realize that as a book adaptation things will be changed. I mean, let's face it, somethings work better onscreen than on the page. Yes, it does have issues, but I did have fun while watching this fast-paced and action-packed movie. With the way this movie ended, I'm wondering exactly how Allegiant, both parts one and two, will be adapted for the big screen!
There was a mixed audience of probably 15 others in the theater with me - and for the most part they seemed to enjoy it too - keep in mind I saw the movie on a Saturday at 4:30 in the afternoon. I much prefer paying matinee prices.
The trailers were for Jurassic World (I can't wait until June!), Poltergeist (which actually looks okay and reminded me how much I want to rewatch the original), and Minions (sounds like it will have an impressive voice cast).
Have you seen Insurgent yet? Do you plan to? What did you think of the adaptation of the Divergent series so far? Let me know what you think!