“Insurgent” diverges from its namesake

Producer Lucy Fisher, star Shailene Woodley and producer Douglas Wick at the New York premiere of The Divergent Series Insurgent at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on March 16, 2015.

Producer Lucy Fisher, star Shailene Woodley and producer Douglas Wick at the New York premiere of The Divergent Series’ ‘Insurgent’ at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on March 16, 2015.

Jess Gross

 

Love, loss, a race against time, the new “Divergent” movie sequel, “Insurgent”, seems to have it all.

Except, that is, for accuracy to the book.

The first adaptation, “Divergent,” left something to be desired, and sadly, if you’re expecting the second installment to be better at staying true to the books, you may be disappointed.

That being said, if you can move past the changes, “Insurgent” is a very enjoyable movie.

Shailene Woodley, who stars as heroine Tris, and Theo James, who stars as her love interest, Four, have a great onscreen chemistry that, thankfully, doesn’t fall into the “damsel in distress” or “love triangle” pitfalls of other recent YA novels that were made into movies (see “The Hunger Games”). None of Tris’ strength or self-confidence gets lost in translation, an important carry-through from the novel.

It’s refreshing for the strong female character to stay strong, even in the face of a love interest as dreamy as Four.

The movie centers around a mysterious artifact, a box which only a true Divergent may open. This major plot shift from the book lends itself to a heightened sense of action throughout the movie, as Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the main baddie of the series, hunts Tris down in the belief she is the only one who can open the box.

Ultimatums are issued, the stakes rise to life and death, and Tris is pushed to her breaking point as Jeanine’s desperation to know the truth increases. With stunning visual effects and incredible cinematography, the move is a visual masterpiece.

As for the content, it’s a mixed bag. As a movie on its own, “Insurgent” is a quality film worth seeing. As a film adaptation of a novel, it falls somewhere in between the Percy Jackson movie adaptation (widely acknowledged as a fiasco) and the Harry Potter movies (beloved for their accuracy).

Overall, I rate it about a 7.5. It’s definitely worth a shot if you read the books or saw the first movie, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must-see.