I should not have watched Insurgent, movie two in the Divergent series. I knew it, I know it, but still I watched it. Blame the fact that movie 1, Divergent, while quite ridiculous , drawn-out and annoying for so many reasons, actually has a romance inside it that really appealed to my wife.
‘Maybe it’s not so bad?’ I wondered. It’s true that the lead character, Tris, is way better than Bella in Twilight, while also being more proactive than Katniss in Hunger Games. Those are good things. That it ripped off Harry Potter’s sorting hat and houses for its 5 ‘factions’, that it rips off Matrix-like dream sequences and Hunger Games-ish training sequences and of course the whole dystopian YA thing, are just things.
We know it. We can see there is nothing really original in any of this story’s ingredients. It doesn’t even have the Maze Runner thing of a maze.
What it does have in common with Maze Runner though is a world that just doesn’t add up. People are not like this. And if you genetically enhance them so much that they stop acting like people, then basically you’re admitting they’re not people, and there’s very little left for me to relate to.
I can’t even go into details. Divergent threatened to potentially make sense. Insurgent utterly does not:
- Trains. Trains that go round and round, and even though the bad guys control the WHOLE CITY, multiple times the good guys escape on a train. After the first time, if I were a bad guy, I’d say ‘OK, so let’s get a big STOP button for the trains and nip this shit in the bud’. Nope.
- Trains plus- why on Earth does a city need a complex high-speed rail network at all? To what, bring food from the farms? It may be that in the book the area within the walls is really massive. In the movie though, it isn’t. We can always see the wall. It isn’t that far away. It’s hard to imagine that area within the wall could grow enough food for everyone, but hey.
- Factionless. After movie 1 our crew are now factionless. According to movie 1, this means they are now basically homeless. You’d think this was a massive threat, worse even than divergents, or perhaps the SAME as divergents for going around thinking divergent thoughts, with nothing to do all day, but no. You’d also think-
- YOU CAN’T CHANGE FACTIONS. Everyone knows this. It is essential to dramatic tension in movie 1, that if you don’t get into Dauntless, then that is it, your life is over. Ha ha, actually- no. You can go join another faction? Yes you can, no bother. Go join Amity. God knows why the rest of the factionless don’t join Amity, or is it because…
- Factionless ARE divergent. Not only are they training like Dauntless, they have guns and tech and knowhow like Erudite (why in hell do they all say E-ru-i-dite? It’s E-ru-dite! So annoying.). They also are resolutely NOT homeless, they have better lives than most people in factions, they have an army hidden in a big building which nobody ever noticed before (despite the fact it is plainly sucking big energy off the grid) and nobody went looking for.
- Honestly, I’d be going after factionless, not divergent.
- Then there is all the BS with serums, and tests, and then SPOILER the whole McGuffin is to open a can that says the whole city is an EXPERIMENT? Ugh, Maze Runner, please. An experiment where dying humans decide to form a walled society where they split people into factions, so they can see if someone appears within that city who is a regular human and not a weird faction person.
- It is just ridiculous.
- The bad guys don’t ever know where the good guys are. Despite them controling the WHOLE CITY. There are HUNDREDS of rogue Dauntless hanging out on the stoop of the Candor building, hello, come get me! And there are 4 in Amity! How do they knot know this? Do they not have CCTV on their trains, for where these douchebag Dauntless punks jump on and off? ‘Get me a BIG STOP button and get me CCTV on the train doors too.’
- What else? So much. More serum-instigated Matrix-y VR sequences. Endless backstory. A mom who was surely the SAME AGE as her son.
Man, it was poor. So poor.
And at the end, even after that message in the can, they STILL didn’t go outside the wall!! So stupid. The third book is apparently going to be TWO movies. Egad. Saints preserve us. I will be strong and will not watch this movie, which is so plainly aimed at kids who’ve never seen another movie in their lives.
I am certainly not their demographic. Lesson learned.