Insurgent, sequel to the 2014 YA flick Divergent, is based around Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), who are both on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet), who is hunting them down. This is due to the fact that Tris is a Divergent, a person who fits into several factions (segregated communities based on human virtues). Jeanine needs Tris to open a box that she believes will end all Divergents, but can only be opened by one. Now Tris and Four must fight their way into the heart of the government to assassinate Jeanine and end her tyrannical reign.
That was Insurgent’s plot massively simplified. There is such a ridiculous amount of absurd backstory to this series that to sit here and explain it all would take a much longer review than this. Insurgent is not a good film, put bluntly, although it never could have been. Not only is it the middle chapter in a trilogy (meaning it will have no real beginning and no real end) but it also is in a series which cannot be taken seriously. It’s stupidly written and poorly thought out, down to the vast majority of the plot points and character motivations which switch and twist themselves around with zero notice or build up.
The performances are probably the only decent thing in the film. Shailene Woodley is a perfectly fine actress, as seen when she has real material, like in The Fault in Our Stars (side note: Ansel Elgort, who played her love interest in TFiOS, plays her brother in this, which is slightly uncomfortable to see). However, here, she does not have real material, more like dog food thrown onto a page and lazily parted and moved to form words. Jupiter Ascending, all is forgiven, just please give me dialogue with some humour, or at least a knowing haminess! This is dialogue is not only bad, but incredibly self-serious and grim. It attempts to tackle real issues like PTSD and parental loss, but it’s so ham-fisted it fails at even the basic attempts and just crosses over to being laughable.
Insurgent is, at its worst, boring. If it was unintentionally funny most of the time, or at least dumbly enjoyable, I would give it a pass, but it isn’t. Its setting, its characters, and its backstory are all too badly written to even get close to being engaging. It’s a poor, poor rip off of the The Hunger Games which does basically everything worse than those films and retaining none of the charm of intrigue.