Ben Oliver

Banner image for Insurgent


This is what happens to people that get close to me. They get hurt or they die. I can’t forgive myself.
14 August 2015

In for a penny in for a pound; after the lacklustre first chapter of this new franchise (Divergent1) Hollywood hits us with another, Insurgent. I would ask why but it would be like asking why someone would want to print money.

What was already a laughably bad idea for a dystopian young adult thriller gets another 2 hours to prove itself, and fails to do so.

Does anyone have an ice scraper and some bleach? The third film will need to be call 'Detergent' after this splatter.

You may recall that in the previous film the world has been divided into ‘factions’ based on personality, and our hero Tris (Shailene Woodley) is found to be someone who doesn’t fit in. The shameful grab at teenager’s hearts continues here, where Tris now has to… oh god what actually happens in this film?

It’s unclear what the goal of the first hour is, come to think of it, but as things go on it comes to light that Kate Winslet has a box that can only be opened by the most special person in the world. Wonder who that’s going to be.

Ah, the ol' reach-around tug job. Surprised they left this in the film but it does show genuine affection even if they aren't looking each other in the eye.

It’s all a good excuse to watch people running about for a while. They even get to wheel out the old ‘the protagonist faces a series of tests’ trope from the last film and every film like this ever.

The production values also seem to have dropped, one impressive aspect from the first film. There’s less care gone into the animation and some of the green screen work in particular is sloppy. At times one wonders if we are seeing a ‘making-of’ video rather than the real deal.

Don't get our hopes up... we all know this franchise isn't over.

The performances are just as bland as before except this time the writing is much poorer, so even the stronger actors struggle to make things interesting. Shailene Woodley was entertaining in the past, now she’s one-dimensional and seems to have semi-given up on the job.

Kate Winslet, we know, is a fine actress. Here she wears a pretty dress and does little else. She gets the same three camera angles over and over again which isn’t something you’d normally notice the first time watching a film. It’s like they just shot all her stuff on one day and tried to pretend it happened at different points in time.

Even Kate Winslet likes to get paid.

There must be some redeeming factors to this mess? Well, not really. Insurgent is not a terrible film but it fails in all its endeavours to entertain or move the audience. In an age where one can watch almost anything that’s ever been made Insurgent commits the biggest crime of all - wasting our time.