Reviewed by: David Criswell, Ph.D.
“insurgent”: a rebel or revolutionary
death / dealing with the loss of parents
problem of power-hungry leaders
self-sacrifice for the good of others
protecting those you love
bravery / courage
lie told by Tris to a friend
What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer
war in the Bible
foolish idea of dividing people into personality types to keep the peace
|Featuring:||Shailene Woodley … Beatrice “Tris” Prior
Miles Teller … Peter
Theo James … Four
Jai Courtney … Eric
Naomi Watts … Evelyn
Kate Winslet … Jeanine
Ansel Elgort … Caleb
Maggie Q … Tori Wu
Jonny Weston … Edgar
Zoë Kravitz … Christina
Ashley Judd … Natalie
Ray Stevenson … Marcus Eaton
Suki Waterhouse … Marlene
Octavia Spencer … Johanna
|Director:||Robert Schwentke —“RED” (2010), “The Time Traveler's Wife” (2009), “Flightplan” (2005)|
|Producer:||Red Wagon Entertainment
|Distributor:||Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate)|
Prequel: “Divergent” (2014)
Sequel: “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” (2016)
“Insurgent” is the second in the Divergent series written by Christian author Veronica Roth. The first in the series revolved around a pseudo-Communistic society where each person is assigned to a classification for the contribution of society. However, a few people defy classification. They are individuals, or “Divergent,” and considered a great threat to the society. The second film, “Insurgent,” continues this theme as the Divergents are on the run and being hunted by the Erudite faction.
Like the previous film, Tris and Four lead the Divergent outcast against Erudite, but this time they must form an alliance with various factions in order to defeat Erudite. Meanwhile, Jeanine Matthews, Erudite leader (Kate Winslet), is kidnapping Divergents and using them to discover a secret that she believes will destroy the Divergents. Tris (Shailene Woodley) alone is believed to hold the key to this mystery.
The first thing that struck me about this sequel is the fact that it is much more violent than the first film. Although most of the brutal violence occurs off screen, it is there in plenty. There is a scene where a man is beaten to a pulp with a metal rod (we never see his face). In another scene, a man is thrown from a train and run over by another (also off screen, but we hear the noise). In still other scenes, we see cold blooded executions (again, the victims are not seen on screen). We see a man’s blood splattered on the glass as he has a bloody nose from a fight. Parents should, therefore, take the PG-13 rating seriously. Additionally, there is more foul language in this film. I heard several, including, I believe, the f-word. Finally, although the sex is off screen, Tris and Four are sleeping together. There is a scene where Tris disrobes, and we see her bare back, as well as a scene which implies frontal nudity (but her breasts are blocked from view).
Another striking dissimilarity from the original is the emphasis upon special effects and action. Whether you consider this good or bad is a matter of taste, but Sims (virtual simulations) are a vital part of the plot of the film. This allows the filmmakers to emphasize CGI, but it also seems to diminish the time needed for proper character development. There are many scenes where we do not know if we are in the Sims or in real life (although it is not hard to figure out).
Perhaps the greatest difference is a spoiler, which I shall not give away. Nevertheless, the first film was ultimately about a pseudo-communistic society and the individual. Its message was that God made us individuals who cannot and should not be classified according to society’s purpose. While this film continues that theme, to a degree, there is a digression from this which sets the stage for the next film. I cannot say whether or not I liked the “revelation” until I see the last film, but it is apparent that the theme of the last film will differ from that of the first, and even to a degree from this one.
While the book is written by an evangelical Christian, there is nothing in the film that even hints at God other than the presence of irony, which is very strong in the movie. God is never mentioned, nor do any of the characters exhibit spirituality. Nonetheless, the theme of the film clearly stems from Veronica Roth’s faith. God made us for a purpose, and that purpose cannot be defined by society or government, but only by God alone.
I enjoyed film, but I cannot say if I enjoyed it as much as the original until I watch it a second time with a fresh mind. Some aspects of the film are better than the original, but the plot development does not seem as strong, and there is too much emphasis upon CGI, violence, and high action, rather than character and plot development. Still the film works effectively and sets itself up for the last film, which they divided into two parts. We all know that they are doing this for money sake, but it might be best for the sake of the film, because it is hard to take a book and compress it into a two hour movie, especially if you are going to emphasize the action. By making two films, hopefully the director can spend more time on characters and plot without sacrificing the action scenes, which we all know drive box office revenues. I give “Insurgent” a cautious thumbs up for adults and older teens, but not for young children.
Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Heavy to moderate—f-word (1), hell (2), damn (1), s-words (2) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.