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Movie Review: Insurgent – Something’s Missing Here…

By Hippiebookworm @HippieBookworm

insurgent_movie_posterI love going to the movies on the weekend. My profession is very consuming and I do a lot of volunteer work outside of my job so it’s nice to be able to take a few hours each weekend to escape into a world that can only be found in books.

A couple weeks ago I and my boyfriend went to see Insurgent with another couple we know in town. Our experience with the Divergent Book Series

was varied. My boyfriend has never read any of the Divergent books. I had only read through Insurgent
and was waiting to start the last book until after I had seen the Insurgent movie. My friend had started Allegiant
, but never made it to the end. My friend’s husband had read all three books.

If you want to know the plot line of Insurgent, from the book’s perspective, please see my Insurgent Book Review.



The movie started off at an interesting pace – maybe a little slow for my taste. After a while though I started getting a little confused. Where was the non-stop action that Insurgent the book provided? Comparatively, the movie was seriously veering off script after a while and I began to be perplexed by where this movie was going. Eventually, I looked over at my friends and they had the same look on their face so I knew I was on to something.

SPOILER ALERT – FYI. If you have not read the book or seen the movie, I’m giving some stuff away below. Read with caution as I don’t want to spoil any surprises for you.


I’m going to give you my top 5 places this movie went all wrong as compared to the novel.

  1. Tris – where was the suicidal tendency there?

OK, so I never wish for a person, fictional or not, to have suicidal tendencies. But for the purposes of this storyline we have to remember that Tris really is on the brink. In the book she continuously puts herself at risk because she no longer values her life since she sees herself as responsible for all the death around her, especially her parents’ and Will’s death. It’s a big contention between her and Four and is one of the driving reasons she submits herself to Jeanine’s torture.

In the movie, Tris seems more determined than torn about her situation. Her character is shallowed and it’s a disservice to Shailene Woodley, who plays Tris, as she was actually brilliant in Divergent.


  1. The Message from Outside the Walls

In the book, the message outside the walls was kept from the people by Jeanine. She stole it from the Abnegation after they had made a plan to broadcast to the other factions. Jeanine was afraid of the end of the Faction system and so she kept the message locked up on her personal computer.

In the movie, the message was stolen from Abnegation by Jeanine, but she was trying to unlock the message because she wanted to share it with the other Factions. She thought that the message would solidify the Faction system and justify the murder of Divergents.


  1. What Jeanine does to Tris and how Caleb is involved

In the book, Jeanine doesn’t need Tris to unlock the message. She needs Tris to experiment on her and find a control serum that would put even her into a simulation without awareness. Eventually Jeanine becomes frustrated by Tris and decides to execute her as she now as Four to continue the experimentation. Caleb is one of the people who deliver Tris to her execution and it’s only because of Peter that she wasn’t actually killed.

In the movie, Jeanine uses Tris’ Divergent mind to pass the message box’s Faction simulation tests. The simulation sequences in the movie are actually pretty spectacular, but why put them here when in the book Jeanine was already using simulation serum trials on Tris in the book?


  1. Killing Jeanine Matthews

In the book Jeanine is killed by Tori after she and Tris make it through a simulation-heavy hallway that leads to Jeanine’s inner office. Tris actually pleads for Tori not to kill Jeanine, but she does anyway to avenge her brother’s death.

In the movie, Jeanine is arrested and after the message is played for all the Factions, she is quietly executed in her Erudite prison cell.


  1. Where’s the action?

There was so much action in the book. The taking back the Dauntless headquarters, the siege on the Candor headquarters, the simulation tests that Tris, Marcus and Tori have to endure in order to get to Jeanine’s inner personal office. It was one thing after the other.

By comparison, the movie was lacking significantly. There were long stretches of inaction in Amity, the Factionless territory and even in the Candor headquarters. I was confused by why they decided to gloss over major events like the taking back of the Dauntless headquarters and ignore others such as when the leader of Candor meets with Jeanine on the bridge and Tris almost gets shot. If I remember right, a major character gets severely injured during that event.



I know I’m on a bit of a rant here. I just really dislike it when the movies don’t line up well with the book. Remember my post a couple years on this exact subject?

I still think the cast is pretty brilliant. I’m a new fan of Shailene so I’m happy to see her taking on some of these more popular roles. The graphics and simulation sequences are pretty cool though too short for my taste. I sort of feel like Divergent was balls-to-the-wall and Insurgent is more half-assed from a finished product standpoint. Even my boyfriend, who had not read the book, was not impressed with this movie. 3 out of 5 stars for sure. Here’s hoping that things get back on track for Allegiant.

What did you think of the movie? Let me know what you loved and didn’t love.

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