Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Octavia Spencer, Zoe Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Mekhi Pfifer, Jonny Weston, Suki Waterhouse, Ray Stevenson, Rosa Salazar, Maggie Q, Daniel Dae Kim, Emjay Anthony, Keiyanan Lonsdale, Janet McTeer
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
On behalf of all the people who read Insurgent, I’d like to say… go fuck yourselves.
I’ve been waiting this whole time for some shitty bastardized adaptation of the second book in the Divergent series? Seriously? The first book wasn’t extremely faithful, but this one just shits on the second book and farts out a film that critics aren’t very fond of over at Rotten Tomatoes. Did they even bother to read the book? A third grade book report would have been closer to the actual story than this bullshit. I’m gonna break it down for you, and then you’ll understand my frustration.
1) Everything having to do with Amity. First of all, Johanna (Spencer) is not a leader of the faction. They go in great detail in the book to explain that the Amity have no leadership, rather they have to vote on everything. They’re so in sync with each other that they almost always unanimously vote on everything, like whether or not to help Tris. Therefore, she does not have an office, because she is no more special than any of the other members of Amity, except that she’s a friend of Marcus (Stevenson) and somewhat an elder. Also, they came to Amity with members of Abegnation, which is never really explained. Also, that’s not how Peter left their group and rejoined Erudite.
2) The factionless leader “Edgar” was created out of thin air from “Edward”, who was in the first book. He’s the guy Peter stabbed in the eye. So he recognizes Tris and Four, instead of being such a massive douchebag in the film. I suppose they just said “fuck Edward” and thus Edgar was born.
3) Thought it was weird, that bonding scene that Uriah had with Tris? It is weird, because he was left out of the first movie altogether, even though he’s very prominent character in the second film. She doesn’t seem to remember him, even though they spent a ton of time together. In the book, they’re good friends. Also, Marlene’s death would have meant more if we had at least five fucking goddamn seconds to be introduced to her. Her death now means nothing, because she had no interaction with Tris. The unnamed girl with the cool hairstyle who starts making an appearance after the little boy was saved? The girl is Lynn, the boy is Hector. Marlene was their friend. In the book, that’s not how it goes down, and Tori isn’t around to help out. Tris basically has to choose between Hector and Marlene, and grabs Hector. She already knocked Christina out, and went for the other two. Marlene is also Uriah’s girlfriend, so when Marlene dies, it’s like Tris has somehow betrayed another friend. Marlene, Lynn, and Uriah were ALL in the first book, and became larger characters in the second book. They are all Dauntless born initiates, and Uriah was the top of his class. Also left out, Will’s sister Cara, Uriah’s brother Zeke, and Shauna, another Dauntless. Shauna gets shot in Book Two and is paralyzed from the waist down, and there are a lot of questions raised about her usefulness, and what it truly means to be Dauntless. She’s also dating Zeke.
4) Jack Kang tries to negotiate with Jeanine in the book, but the deal goes south. That’s actually what prompts the Dauntless to leave Candor.
5) Four turns himself in because he doesn’t want to live in a world where Tris isn’t alive. It’s a lot more romantic in the book than in the movie, where he’s just suddenly in a cage.
6) Jeanine isn’t trying to find Divergents to unlock the box. She already has that information. She is actually just trying to eradicate Divergents. She uses Tris in simulations to test serums that are strong enough to override her Divergent nature. That whole bullshit about passing all five factions was made up for the movie.
7) The Dauntless elect new leaders, of which Four, Tori, and Zeke are elected. This never happens in the film.
8) Tris actually escapes the compound with the help of Peter and Four, BEFORE THE END OF THE MOVIE. They actually GO BACK for more information, having already been inside once before. Tris goes back with Marcus, Christina, and Fernando (not in the movie either). They go back for the information (which has been put in the silly box in the movie). There’s a second attack at the same time from Four and Tori, because Tori really REALLY wants to personally kill Jeanine herself. Also, during this invasion, Lynn dies. She didn’t die in the movie, so I suppose that’s good for fans of Lynn? It’s also revealed that she was in love with Marlene, which is why she was so bitchy to Uriah all the time… BUT YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW BECAUSE THEY LEFT ALL THAT SHIT OUT OF THE MOVIE.
9) Remember the Amity? At Johanna’s urging, some of them go into the city to try and offer their assistance in a very passive, medical type of way during the final battle. This is never discussed at all in the movie.
10) Oh, that cool reveal at the end? It would have been cooler if it was more like the book, which actually showed pictures of the devastation outside the walls, and also revealed that the woman speaking in the video was Edith Prior. As in Beatrice Prior. Coincidence? No.
There’s also some really cool stuff, like a scene where Christina and Tris sneak out to meet with Marcus that was left out of the book. It’s a cool bonding scene between Christina and Tris, who have a much stronger friendship in the books than they do in the movies.
I’m sure if I hadn’t read the book, I might have enjoyed the film a bit more. It’s really hard to separate the book from the film, because this is honestly one of the worst book-to-screen adaptations I’ve ever seen. Ever. EVER. It only compounds itself, because there are TWO MORE MOVIES coming, and characters that get left out of a film or marginalized that have a bigger role in the next book… it just screws everything up. They should have just made the film 30 minutes longer and included everything. I promise, the film would have been better for it. You would have felt Marlene’s death a lot more, you’d have seen Lynn die (and CARED about it), and Jeanine would have been executed in front of everyone instead of in her cell at the very end. Plus, you’d have the revelation of EDITH PRIOR.
I’m scared of the next two films. Honestly, there’s no hope anymore. This series is beyond fucked.
FINAL GRADE (AS AN ADAPTATION): F
FINAL GRADE (SEMI-OBJECTIVELY): C+