"Insurgent" (2015) | Movie vs. Book Review
This past weekend the movie adaptation of Insurgent came out in theatres, and of course I had to check it out. After the Divergent movie turned out way better than expected, I was hopeful this one would turn out to be pretty good as well. The critics vs. audiences gap for Insurgent on Rotten Tomatoes was baffling, but that also happened with the first movie, so I thought I may be pleasantly surprised once again. Sadly, I have to side with the critics on this one.
So, let's talk about the changes from book to movie. My confusion is about who was this film made for. It doesn't have the quality to interest non-readers of the trilogy, and it's simply confusing—watching people review the first movie, and now this one confirms it. As for fans of the books—they want to see the books they read translated onto the screen. Changes here and there are interesting, but when your movie is borderline "inspired by events" the core fans aren't going to be happy either. I wasn't the biggest fan of Insurgent as a book (though I still enjoyed it) because it felt a bit chaotic, but compared to the movie it actually looks better to me now. There are MANY differences between the two, so I'm not going to point out every single one—I'm going to go over the things that stood out to me the most.
SPOILERS ahead if you haven't read or watched Insurgent
- The "mystery box": I honestly thought this was entirely unnecessary. It worried me in the trailer, and it turned out just as cheesy as I thought it would. If you've read the books, you know there is no mystery box that needs to be opened by a unique and individual snowflake via passing a bunch of tests. Not only does it look reminiscent of the stones from The Fifth Element, but it kind of has the same idea of the ONE person making it work. There were plenty of things in the book that could have made it into the script instead of this.
- The relationship between Tris and Four: these two do a lot of fighting in the book, and it's not meaningless. Four thinks Tris is reckless and thinks only about herself, so he continuously tries to fight her on this. He even goes as far as saying, if she doesn't stop acting this way, their relationship will be over. Tris leaving to turn herself in is pretty much betrayal on her part. And speaking of complicated relationships, don't even get me started on what's going on between her and Christina. All of this is barely touched on in the movie.
- Jeanine's Death: on the subject of stripping meaning from actions, here is another example. In the movie her death is the last shot of the film, complete with a cheesy "last words" line, and she's killed by Evelyn for what seems like no reason other than a power trip. Of course, in the book Jeanine is killed by Tori during the attack on the Erudite as an act of revenge (Jeanine killed Tori's brother for being Divergent)
- Marcus... where's Marcus?: Not in this film, that's for sure. Marcus plays a pretty significant role in the book, but in the movie his screen time / contribution is next to none.
- Tris has no problem with guns: poor Tris, traumatized but her parents' death and by killing Will, refuses to pick up a gun in the book. In the movie this problem doesn't exist.
- The Divergent scanner: that one is wrong on so many levels. First of all, you know this doesn't exactly fit with the way things turn out in Allegiant, if you've read it. Second, the percentage of divergence is absurd. And finally, what about people who chose a faction despite their test? This scanner shows the faction they belong to, based on their face (LOL), but as you may remember from the first movie the choice of which faction to join is still up to the teens. They can go against the test. This scanning device is ridiculous.
In general, there is a ton of plot left out in the movie adaptation, and for some reason it's replaced by the hunt for THE ONE who can open the mystery box with the message. Why? I have no idea. There is not a single change that I thought made the story better, and I'm officially losing interest in Allegiant (especially since it's split into two movies).
Have you seen Insurgent? What did you think?
If you'd like to know what I thought of the movie apart from the changes, check out my review below!