Monday, 23 March 2015 00:00

MOVIE REVIEW - Divergent: Insurgent

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Part 2 of the Divergent franchise is a movie that is not going to get a fair shake from anyone involved.

First off, from the paying public that is going to see this. They loved every single frame before they even walked into this. They love the books, they love the idea, they love this kind of formula.  They cannot watch it with an honest eye, and they like it. Not from the national critics either. They are flat out weary from this old and tired formula of the world after an apocalypse, with a young woman and her hunky friends are here to save they mankind. 

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For me?  This is just not a good movie.  Great books or not. Tired formula or not. Insurgent just flat out has a lot of problems that it can't overcome.  And it all starts with our star, Shailene Woodley.  Even though this is a poor man's Hunger Games, Woodley is not Jennifer Lawrence.  This series lacks the Lawrence-type star power, and it's starting to take a toll. Woodley has done some really nice work, and I have loved her in other roles but not here.  In this movie she looks 12 years old. She also looks insanely thin and washed out, and basically back-boneless.  She has absolutely no screen presence whatsoever, far less than the first installment.  She is not at all believable as the savior of the human race.  In fact in some scenes, she looks borderline ridiculous carrying automatic weapons and shooting them.

I have no clue what has happened to Woodley and her decline in this role.  But she's not alone. As impressive as some of the sets and effects are here, much of this looks like a bunch of middle level actors playing dress up. The props are silly, and so are many of the scenes. This is a sullen, depressing stiff of a movie that is a huge waste of 110 million dollars. The budget was even higher for this than the first, but the results are far weaker.

But as all the fans know, there is another movie to go.  And we can only hope that it is far better than this one. Also in fairness, many times second flicks are the weak link in a trilogy.  The first one is setting things up, the final brings it all together and many times the second movie just lays there. That's what happens here.  This series is late to the party anyway. Twilight, and Hunger Games have really laid claim to this now tired formula, and Divergent just seems behind.

Divergent:Insurgent.  Fans will love it, and they won't honestly know why.   But this is not very good.


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