Insurgent (2015) Movie Review: Lackluster Flick Fails To Surge Past Expectations

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every dream, delusion or fearscape.

Take a Sip: whenever you hear/see faction names/symbols.

Do a Shot: anytime somebody executes a raid or rescue.

Take a Drink: for each betrayal, redemption, and/or sacrifice.

Take a Drink: every time Tris completes a Sim.

Shotgun a Beer: for Kate Winslet’s best “headshot” ever.

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Felix Felicis (Four Beers)-

I will not watch Insurgent on a plane,

I will not watch Insurgent on a train,

I will not watch it in a car or tree,

It was kind of “meh” so you see,

I will not watch in a house or box,

Not with Kardashians or Jamie Foxx,

I will not watch here or there,

I will not watch it anywhere!

Green Eggs & Ham… The original blue waffle.

Insurgent takes place not even a week after Divergent ends which gives Kate Winslet’s Erudite Hitler, Jeanine, enough time to unleash the evil she obviously keeps in her flaxen tresses to conquer and rule the post-apocalyptic “utopian” society introduced in Divergent and made up from five factions comprised of core human virtues (Amity- kindness, Abnegation- selflessness, Dauntless- bravery, Erudite- wisdom and Candor- honesty) for their own good. Insurgent once again follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodly) on her CGI travels as she fights for the right to party (and keep breathing). Confronted by betrayals and ugly-white-girl-crying-face at every turn, Tris battles demons both within and without for the chance to snuggle/have barely suggestive sex with Four (Theo James) another day. At the heart of a nascent Civil War, Tris must become the ultimate Divergent to save herself and everyone she loves.

How I get through bad sex and mediocre movies.

A Toast

Um. Shailene Woodly and Theo James had relatable chemistry with each other and Woodly’s other silverscreen boyfriends (she teamed up with her Divergent brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) to bone as cancery teens in The Fault In Our Stars and Insurgent frenemy, Miles Teller (Peter) in The Spectacular Now, to bone as quirky, offbeat teens). So that was an amusing five minutes putting those puzzle pieces together during the film.

Bitch gets AROUND.
Bitch gets AROUND.

This might be from the raging beer buzz I had during the movie but Jai Courtney also downgraded from Hurricane Distractingly Bad in Divergent to a Tropical Storm of Forgettable Meh in Insurgent. I don’t know if Courtney sucked less or I just didn’t care more but we’ll split the difference and call it 50/50. I caught the film in 3D IMAX and, while the 3D didn’t detract from the film, it didn’t blow my mind, so save your money and catch Insurgent in 2D if you absolutely have to.

Pretty much my go-to move every time somebody asks if I liked Insurgent or accidental butt stuff.

Beer Two 

While there’s rarely a totally, down-to-the-page, authentic novel-to-film adaptation, some fuck with us more than others. Like My Sister’s Keeper, where they not only changed an integral character focus but the ending in which the emotional payoff was yanked out from under your feet faster than white girls can form a line during Pumpkin Spiced Latte season. Insurgent was a patchwork Frankenstein’s Monster of mis-matched plot details and flailing character arcs that only moderately resembled the source material.

I still have PTSD from last Fall.
I still have flashbacks from last Fall.

If you didn’t see or read Divergent going into this, you’re fucked. If you didn’t read Insurgent (as much good as that will do you) you’re  also fucked. Even being remotely familiar with the material will still leave you with more confused WTF moments than the time we as a society collectively thought Jon Cryer was hot. What? Just me? FINE. On the other hand, it doesn’t take a mental giant to sit back and be dazzled by the pretty lights and magic pixels that go boom (as exemplified by the guy one row down and over to my left who got up when the credits began to roll and went “That was really good! Do you think they’ll come out with another one?” Bro… Bro… BRO IT’S A TRILOGY DUMBASS. *pinches bridge of nose* Cthulhu help me).

Walk up in da club like:

Beer Three

While the pacing in Divergent had intermittent issues, sitting through that was a piece of fucking cake compared to sitting through Insurgent. If I hadn’t stopped wearing watches back in 2003 (thanks cell phones!) I would’ve been checking mine every five minutes. Imagine the most boring car ride ever, asking “Are we there yet?” over and over again, only YOU NEVER GET THERE. Insurgent began on a flatline and, despite mouth-to-mouth CPR with his royal hotness, Theo James, it ended without a blip of life on the screen.

insurgent0013
Not even a ghost of sideboob or whisper of abs to be seen.

Insurgent was like the longest run-on sentence of all time and you could clearly see R.I.P.D director Robert Schwentke’s hands all over this lackluster shitnado. The 119 minute runtime felt endless because of the monotonous tone and absence of any real tension. Much as in R.I.P.D there were promising ideals that ultimately fell flat in execution. Even judging Insurgent by the especially low-bar with which I measure teen novel adaptations, this was a black hole of forgettably bland suck.

No, seriously, can you tell me? I fell asleep.

 Beer Four

As much as I’m ripping on Insurgent, and don’t get me wrong, this shit was frustratingly mediocre, it wasn’t a bad movie. It was a forgettably watchable one; much like carnival corn dogs, Insurgent will go down easy but it isn’t gonna linger long in your system. Not to mention the CGI use is so top-heavy in the film it needed grounded characters with depth to punch through the fake veneer of the landscape and create a real cinematic foundation. Instead, Tris spends most of the film consumed by the wrongs of her past to do much of anything other than hover in “scrunchy-face-white-girl-pre-cry-mode” with one tortured lip bite during an underwhelmingly “dramatic” reveal that triggered some 50 Shades P.T.S.D.

There was also barely any of the teen film adaptation bread and butter of romantic tension in Insurgent that makes hearts and vaginas go all googly-eyed and twitterpated ’round the world. If you’re going to make a teen flick, you can play with the core elements, but you still need to include them in a significant way that was, in essence, lacking here. The plot moved forward mechanically and laboriously toward a predictably anti-climactic climax for no other reason than just because. In addition to that, what little backbone and depth Tris, Four, or any of the other characters developed in Divergent evaporated in Insurgent like Charlie Sheen’s marketability when he went off the “rails”. Much like a 3-D illusion puzzle or Lindsay Lohan’s beef curtains whenever she forgets to wear underwear in public, just don’t look too closely at Insurgent and you’ll make it though just fine.

This one may be too close to call.
This one may be too close to call.

Verdict

Insurgent has already passed from my short-term memory into the “space available to record” section of my brain. Even Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella would be a better call than this.

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About Felix Felicis

Filled with smart-assed sass and armed with the expletives to prove it, Felix Felicis is a critic adrift in a sea of dirty thoughts and tawdry humor. If you see her float by, toss Felix some beef jerky and a taser. She'll take it from there.

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