It would be easy to simply write Insurgent off as simply another “middle picture” in a movie trilogy, and there is some of that feeling to it. You know what I mean. In most movie trilogies, the first picture is there to set things up, give you the lay of the land, introduce the main characters, etc. Then the second movie comes along, and it’s function is to hopefully expand a bit on everything that has gone before while getting everything in place for the third movie (or, just as likely today when the final movie is split into two so that the studio can reap double benefits – see, for example, The Hobbit, the third/fourth movie) which will provide the final, “epic” ending.
It would be easy to do that, but in the case of Insurgent, it would be doing the movie a disservice to simply dismiss it in that way.
Of course, I’m obviously not part of the target audience for a movie like this, and if it weren’t for my fourteen year old daughter, I probably would never have bothered going to see the first movie in this series, Divergent, at all. That being said. I found myself enjoying the first installment well enough that I was certainly willing to accompany her to Insurgent. One of the things that I liked about the first movie was that there were a number of places where I expected the movie to end on more of a cliffhanger type note, but rather than do that, it told a pretty complete story in itself while certainly leaving enough unanswered questions and a feeling that there was certainly more of the story to be told that it was definitely a satisfying view, and that is also the case here. While, yes, Insurgent definitely sets up the rather obvious next step in the plotline it at the same time completes the section of the story that was necessary for these characters to move to that next level without simply ending on a cliffhanger or leaving the viewer feeling like they’ve only seen a part of a movie, and I have to applaud those in charge of adapting this series for that.
So basically, yes, this is to a large extent, a “more of the same” movie insofar as if you enjoyed the first movie, you should enjoy this one also. How would it work as a stand alone experience? Well, I can’t speak directly to that, but my feeling is definitely that while it would probably work, there is quite a bit of assumed knowledge that would leave someone who hasn’t seen Divergent playing quite a game of catch up as far as the characters and their inter-relationships.
The bottom line then: If you’ve seen the first movie, and enjoyed it, then yes, I’d recommend this as a very adequate and satsfying follow-up. If you haven’t, then I would recommend seeking out and watching Divergent first, and then deciding if you’re interested in following the adventures of these characters any further.
- Divergent Author Is Writing More Books (collegecandy.com)
- Insurgent is slightly more urgent than Divergent: review (thestar.com)
- Everything you need to know about the Divergent series (vox.com)