Should You See 'Insurgent?' Here's What the Critics Are Saying
By Alex Ungerman
The Divergent crew is back and kicking butt!
Insurgent boasts an incredible cast -- Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Miles Teller (now of Oscar-nominatedWhiplash fame!) -- and is based on the second installment in the massively popular YA novel franchise, Divergent.
In this followup, Shailene's character and the Divergent's team up with the factionless to fight back against the oppressive Erudite regime (lead by Kate Winslet). The trailer actually looked pretty cool.
While the first movie was widely met by some with a cold, and decisive "meh," (despite an impressive box office debut) stars Shailene and Theo hoped this one would be bigger, stronger, and sweatier.
That would be welcome to many fans, but some big name reviewers don't seem to agree.
"It seems odd that a movie that celebrates divergence would conform so rigidly to formula," writes Peter Travers, for Rolling Stone. "Surprise is lacking. Ditto humor, though Miles Teller (Whiplash), as a thorn in Four's side, gets in a few fun licks by not staying on the film's draggy tempo. Otherwise, Insurgent stubbornly fails to surge."
There is a lot of talent in this movie.
"Woodley is a talented, dynamic actress wasted in this uninteresting sequel and the equally slow series," writes Gary Wolcott for Tri-City Herald. "Also wasted is her co-star, the charismatic James. Kate Winslet is a boring villain as is Whiplash’s Miles Teller, who plays Peter, the traitorous slimeball. Oscar-winner and the popular Octavia Spencer has just a few lines."
Some say Insurgent has trouble taking the forest for the trees. That it feels like a followup, rather than its own movie.
"This second installment, based on Veronica Roth's series of YA novels, feels cobbled together and less focused than 2014's Divergent, and lacks tension and excitement," writes Claudia Puig for USA Today. "Four professes his love for Tris repeatedly, but their chemistry is less apparent than in the first film."
And then there are the comparisons to The Hunger Games, which the series just can’t seem to shake.
That said, there has to be some good in the movie.
"Dreams and visions tend to be the dopiest parts of thrillers, especially when they’re fake-outs — i.e., the hero or heroine dies violently and then wakes up with a start. But in this case, those interludes are beautiful," writes David Edelstein for Vulture. "Insurgent is not a very good movie, but it’s better than it needs to be."
That is something! Unfortunately, the new film doesn't appear to really improve on its predecessor, which scored slightly more positive reviews.
According to the Rotten Tomatoes consensus, "Shailene Woodley gives it her all, but Insurgent is still a resounding step back for a franchise struggling to distinguish itself from the dystopian YA crowd."
Basically if you're a fan of the series, and liked the first one, go for it! There just might not be much there for you if you don't.
Insurgent is in theaters today.
One thing we can be excited about -- Miles Teller went and pulled a Chris Pratt and got all buff for his next role. Watch the video below!