Man, I don't even know where to begin. Insurgent is....bad. Insurgent....Insurgent signifies everything wrong with the young adult (YA) novel adaptation. This genre is right there with the Christian genre for being the worst thing in the movies right now, and it might even be worse because the fans of the genre think that its films are better than they actually are. At least Christians know they are getting crap. They just don't care, as long as the film reminds them of their faith. Fans of the YA genre think their films are amazing. These people are the ones who get upset when The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 receives no nominations from the Academy for the Oscars. Well here's what I have to say about that: if any of you think Insurgent is a great piece of cinema....shame on you. It is a lazy excuse of film with horrible special effects and a bland story. Like every other YA adaptation, this film has an interesting world it's set in. But does it investigate this world? No. A few throwaway lines here and there do not count for investigating the world. This film stars Shailene Woodley, a very talented actress and who I said was the actress to watch for 2015. Well, Snowden is coming out later this year but for now I'll rescind that statement. I was not impressed with her performance at all. Granted she had some pitiful writing to back her up, but still. I know this girl can do better. And then there's freaking Optimus Prime over there. Theo James still sucks as Four. He's a a hunk, and that's it. The only one who shines even remotely is Miles Teller, who glides through this role knowing that he's better than it, but, once again, his character is so poorly written that it still makes no sense. Which is a shame, because Teller's character is the only character here that is even remotely interesting, but God is he written SO FREAKING POORLY. Which, brings me to my next point!
The YA genre. Why is it so bad? Well, because it's a cash-cow. Production companies know that all they have to do is get a few recognizable actors and actresses, adopt a popular YA novel, (preferably a best-seller) and the target audience will come out to see the film in droves. Regardless of how good or bad it is. So, why spend $10 million on an action scene when you can spend $5 million, right? The amount of money you're going to make isn't going to change, so why bother? This film and this series just screams laziness. You take Kate Winslet, someone who the target audience will immediately recognize from her other work, you throw in Shailene Woodley, who is in this series only because they wanted to capitalize on her success in The Spectacular Now, which was a hit with Divergent's demographic, and you have Miles Teller, who was also in that EXACT same movie and is in this film for the EXACT same reason. Then you throw in a hunk for the lead male, and you have yourself a surefire hit. I could do the exact same thing with Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner, The Giver, and even The Hunger Games. Though, to kinda take The Hunger Games off the hook, I will say that at least Jennifer Lawrence became Jennifer Lawrence AFTER the first Hunger Games. Even though they were hoping to catch the sci-fi demographic due to her role in X-Men: First Class. But I digress. It's all corporate decisions, guys. That's all the YA genre is. The same goes for the superhero genre too, but at least there we are getting some interesting stories and fantastic visual effects. In the YA genre we don't even get that. And we get two-part finales because f*ck you give us money. Thanks Obama.
That's right. This review is about Insurgent, isn't it? Well, like I said, Insurgent is not good. While there were a few enjoyable moments scattered throughout a lot of boring scenes, most of this film is exactly that: boring. I will also credit the film at least trying to remind you of the events of the first film in a somewhat clever way. (Having Kate Winslet deliver a recap as propaganda was kind of cool.) But that's about it. The big action set-piece? The one that was shown in all the trailers? Looked HORRIBLE. It was terribly shot with already-dated CGI, and led to several moments where I said to myself, "There is nothing on this screen right now that is real." which you should never EVER say in a good action film. You cannot go full CGI. Especially when your CGI is awful. But on top of that, this film was very technically bland. VERY technically bland. The cinematography was boring, standard, and lazy. The score was about as memorable as watching an hour of C-SPAN. The costumes made no sense. Everything about this film was either lazy, bland, bad, or a combination of all three. Even M83 didn't make a showing in this film. His song I Need You which accompanied a zip line scene through Chicago's skyline was easily the best part of Divergent. (And the only scene from the film I actually remember) So I was very depressed when my ears didn't hear the master musician that is M83. But don't worry, guys! We still have 2 more of these things to go! Woot woot! TWO PART FINALES ARE THE BEST. Cough cough.....sorry. I'm allergic to bullshit. Actually, just a heads up, I probably won't watch the last two of these things. Why? Well, for one, I've vowed to no longer watch Part 1 of two-part finales in cinema, but two, this film actually ended. Which was odd. The film did very little to set up for an obvious third (and fourth) movie. So, to me, the Divergent series is done! All plot points that I "cared" about are resolved. Peace out, mofos.
The Critique: Everything that is wrong with the YA genre, summed up in one film.
The Recommendation: Please. Avoid it like the plague.
The Verdict: 3/10 Bad