Welcome back! As you know Insurgent the movie came out last weekend. I saw it with my friends opening night and wanted to share my thoughts with you. Now let me say first things first this review will have spoilers, they are unavoidable as it's a sequel and to discuss the book to movie changes. So if you haven't seen Insurgent yet there is a small non-spoilery section you can read without fear but then go see it then come back and share your thoughts! I also find that many people have mixed reviews about the movie which makes this review even more fun to write. Strap in and enjoy the ride.
I read these books the first time a couple years ago. When the first real trailer was released I admit to being a bit confused. I was unsure if the trailer seemed so different because it was different or if I just didn't remember the book that well. So to prepare for the movie, I re-read Insurgent the day before I saw it, technically I finished that afternoon before we did see it, so to say it was fresh in my mind is an understatement. There were a lot of changes made to the movie. You expect changes in book to movie adaptations, it’s a way of life, and they can make or break a story. I was okay with most of the changes in the movie. Let me explain, Insurgent had a LOT happening in it. There was a ton of exposition and information to absorb in the book and to try and get all of that in there with all the different subplots in just 2 hours of movie and not have it be rushed through at super speed it needed to be condensed. My honest opinion would be that they should have split Insurgent into two movies, since it had so much meat to it, and then only done the last one as one. Come on that would have been a huge change, splitting something other than the last book. Given we didn't get that I was happy with the movie. I LIKED IT! I didn't LOVE it as much as some others but I wasn't disappointed in it. It kept true to at least most of the book and the story, unlike some adaptations.
The acting was pretty much as we remember. There were some intense stares and oh some comedic relief when it wasn't expected. Never expected to laugh so much at Peter when I hated him so much in the books. For me there was a bit too much CGI. The snake things that go into the divergent to try and open the box that levitate them….not necessary. Why did you need to make it complicated instead of just going with it and having them on the chair like the last one. Keep some things familiar. The directors changed and you expected changes in the style but a bit more consistency would have been nice.
So that's all I really have that doesn't have spoilers. Now I want to discuss some of the changes and my thoughts on them. First let me say these are in no particular order, just how they come to me as I'm writing my review.
Tris and her emotional state. Her PTSD is played down somewhat in the movie. She was struggling with what she did to her friend. She didn't want to hold a gun, much less use one, in the books but she didn't seem to struggle with weapons in the movie as much, one small flinch at holding a gun does not give the depth the book had through the entire story. In the book she also became reckless, stupid Dauntless adrenaline junkie reckless, which put a strain on her and Four. Speaking of Tris and Four's relationship issues, I think they were better in the movie. They seemed to be on more solid ground and not have as many bickering moments like in the book because one wasn't being truthful, they just kinda had these looks that seemed to say they understood. I was conflicted at first because I wasn't sure if that would detract from their relationship as a whole but after seeing it, for me it made their connection that much more real and solid for me where it wavered for me in the book some. Their relationship is still new and fresh and to be constantly fighting each other with everything else going on would not show them as a strong unit. However, because they cut out most of their conflict it did cut out some of their growth as characters.
One of the things I'm most upset about them cutting was in Amity. Where Tris and Peter fight and she is injected with the peace serum. Basically Tris on some serious happy drugs. Why didn't we get this scene where she was drugged out of her mind and so hilarious? Her conversation with Four during it in the book were great. It would have given the audience a chance to see insecurities about them and explain about the serums and being divergent. Four has a theory that she is immune from all the serums but succumbed to this one because she wanted to feel happy.
|See how happy she could have been!|
Which leads me to the Candor truth scene. The movie never showed that she could have withheld the truth if she wanted. That in the end even though she could lie, she chose to be honest and get it out there that she killed her friend, Will. That she told the truth even knowing it would hurt people and herself. It was a very powerful scene in the book and came a bit short of emotional depth in the movie, showing more awkward than anything. This also continues with Christina and Tris! They cut out all the stuff between them. Where she hates her but then after the simulation suicides, which she wasn't involved in, but I liked her seeing it first hand, she understands what Tris meant about Will being unable to hear her and forgives her, which helps Tris start to forgive herself. Big emotional part. I think this cut some real depth and emotion from the story and was saddened by it. Also taking back Dauntless headquarters was a big thing to take back their home. Plus paintball guns, always fun.
Some other things, Marcus wasn't in it nearly as much. He doesn't leave Amity with the others. Come to think of it the Amity scenes overall were cut much shorter. I don't really have an opinion on this one way or the other. I feel it worked for the movie as a whole and with the editing of things cut out it made sense to cut out his part. Also going back to Candor. The leader Jack isn't as much of a pansy as in the book. In the book after the attack he meets with Erudite to make peace and basically is told he's going to hand over all the divergent, the fugitives, and anyone who wasn't marked with a disk, oh and Eric. He basically agrees tail between his legs without a fight. Nope they skip some of that and he is on their side seeing what Erudite is about, I liked that. Plus I adore the actor!
Speaking of the attack, one of my other favorite parts was cut. Tris didn't get to shank Eric. WHY? It showed she might still be struggling with her PTSD and not want to shoot people but when her life was on the line or that of an innocent she was willing to act to save them. Plus Eric was such a douche. Also they never chose new Dauntless leaders, which wasn't as big of a thing since people could easily see who everyone was looking to. Tris and Four did flip flops as to his mother/factionless. Tris was anti it in the book and Four was willing to take a chance, but in the movie it was the opposite, which was only slightly confusing to me. Also the factionless have a huge headquarters type thing going on instead of small safe houses all over, constantly moving. I totally get it for the movie, it makes more sense to show the numbers and the overall visual feel of them in one space.
Now one of the biggest changes. The flipping BOX. The magical divergent box. There was no box in the book. Janine didn't want anyone to know about the message because it would ruin her faction system. But I can see it. The box was something for non-book readers to grab onto. It gave the movie a more sustainable objective. It also made Janine seem more purpose driven to the point being blind to the clear logical issues which is what she was supposed to be, instead of domination. They made it all about Tris, again for the purpose of the movie. Also the wands to find out your faction? WTF? Not sure how that was necessary. Plus it giving the percentage divergent you are? Not cool with that but…yeah okay I went with it.
They cut the rescue scene and the invasion together, for the movie I thought this made a lot of sense. It flowed better and given some of the subplots and things that were cut out to this point it was the only thing that made sense. Though again would have loved to see Tris and Christina work together again having made up with one another, a good bonding experience. Again there was a lot happening in the book and only two hours of movie. The rescue and such leads to the biggest issue I had with the movie changes, and that was the ending. The end of the movie is with them showing the message to everyone. Great that happened in the book and it ended there. Allegiant picks up with a small group of people, Tris/Fours group leaving, not the entire city leaving for the gates so now I'm confused about the next movie. But more than that, it seems like the factionless were good people. NO! In the book after the invasion they start to take arms from the Dauntless quietly and then turn them on them showing they are the new bosses in town. They don't want to work together but to rule their way. It ends when the video is played.
There were several other small subplots that added to the dimension of the book that didn't make the movie. We always knew they wouldn't when the start of them was cut from the first movie and again time restraints. Come on any book lover would LOVE to see a true everything added and just so movie from their favorite books but that isn't practical. YET! Who knows what the future will hold. Overall though, it may not seem like it by all the things I pointed out that were different or wrong with it from the book, I liked the movie. I wouldn't give it five stars but I still felt it was a good movie and followed along close enough to the book and its ideals that I'm intrigued to see what happens next and how they will finish the series on the screen. Plus if they are making changes there is always one change they could make at the end that I'd be totally okay with.
I'm sorry if this is a bit of a spastic review. I just wanted to get my thoughts out there and make note of some things that changed be it good or bad. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book and movie versions. Share what you think about the overall movie, the changes, are you planning to see Allegiant. I need to discuss this further.
Rating: 4 Stars