The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Sidenotes: Left Behind, The Best of Me, and If I Stay)


(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)

The Divergent Series: Insurgent is actually good, yeah it may have some really dumb scenes and what not, but the movie gave some more clarity to their story, and I’m interested to see what happens next.

Rating: 4 Stars

When it comes to these movies pertaining to entertaining the teens of this generation, I can’t help but compare these types of movies with one another. I heavily compare the Divergent series to The Hunger Games series, because they are similar in many ways, and yet it all depends on what angle they take. Before I watched Insurgent I thought The Hunger Games has the big upper hand, while Divergent is just under it’s shadow. However, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 took a deep step back, and Insurgent can make a big leap forward. Honestly, I didn’t have high hopes for this movie, even though, the trailer looks a lot better, because i believed it will be  the same old story which made the first movie decent at the most. With The Maze Runner also being another of these types of movies, you’re not sure how it will fare. Sometimes, movies can surprise you. Don’t worry teens, I do have an open mind when it comes to these movies, even though, I haven’t read the books.

What I Like: Let’s just say the acting took a big leap forward. We knew Shailene Woodley will do her thing playing Tris Prior. (Watching the movie in 3D, I really noticed that she has very big eyes, and not really digging her new hairstyle.) What surprises me is that the rest of the actors actually stepped their game up as well, and this movie really needed that. Theo James playing Tobias “Four” Eaton. For this movie they even brought out the big time actors with Octavia Spencer playing Amity leader Johanna Reyes, and Naomi Watts playing Four’s Factionless mother Evelyn Johnson-Eaton. I also enjoyed watching Daniel Dae Kim (aka Jin from the TV Show Lost only with a lot better English) playing Candor’s leader, Jack Kang. As part of the story goes about the dystopian society Chicago where the people are divided into five factions (really six if you count the factionless) where they all have their roles in their society, but one faction wants to be the sole rulers of the society and manipulates and brainwashes people to get rid of their rival faction, which they succeeded. What I liked in the movie is that they developed the other factions in this movie to get a better understanding of their society. We knew that Erudite were the intellectuals who want power, Abnegation were the helpers and uniting everyone as one, and Dauntless were the protectors of the society, and Divergents are people who understands all factions and are considered a threat by the Erudites. Now they show that Amity are not just farmers in the country side of the society but they are peaceful people who really just want to work and be a family, Candor, who are the judges who makes the judicial decisions based on honesty, which they can find out what is the truth, and the Factionless are a society that are actually living pretty well, probably thanks to Abnegation, but know that the system is wrong and are waiting for the right time to overtake it. It really moved the storyline very steadily, and have a clearer understanding where the whole society stands. The movie also improved a lot in their action and graphics which made the movie better as well.

The So So: When the story started, it looked like it was going to be the same old story like the first one. It did make me interested at the very least, but I thought it will be same old, same old. The interesting part is that the leader of the Erudites and villain, Jeanine Matthews played by Kate Winslet, finds a box containing a message from the society’s founders 200 years back, and wants to open it to reveal that her intentions are right. Unfortunately, only a Divergent can open the box. She had tried with many Divergents she found, but they all end up dying before they reach the final faction test, and she knows she needs Tris who is the perfect Divergent to open it. That box really kept my interest, and when they finally opened up through a series of faction tests which I found interesting in watching Tris go through the tests, and finding out the message. The founders message was that this society was an experiment to prove that Divergents are important to keep the peace in the world today, where before it was destroyed by violence. Now they can break off the barriers and see what it is outside of their society. I appreciate that it gave clarity to what happened in their society, and that it gave a satisfying ending while I look forward to the next movie to see what happens. (The fact they split the last book into two movies make my eyes roll, but let’s see how they execute it.) I really enjoyed seeing Jeanine get shot and killed by Evelyn in the end, that scene made me clap I didn’t like the fact that the two characters, Tris brother Caleb Prior and Peter Hayes, played by Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller, were so wishy washy with their alliances with Erudite or the rebellion. Especially when Peter is such a jerk and Caleb is such a weakling, and not realizing what their intentions were on. With that said, it did pertain to the story and creating some minor twists that kept me engaged to know what is going on. I don’t like that Peter was good, bad, then good again, and for future movies I feel he will backstab again, but I’m more interested in seeing where Caleb’s mind is after this movie where he believed he was doing for good, and now he’s just confused. Everything has it’s purpose, and the story did it’s best to explain things better.

What I Didn’t Like: The love scenes really were corny scenes, and I could be good without it. (I understand that the teens love it, but does it always have to be Dawson Creekish.) There is a scene where Erudite shot and implanted sleeping/brainwashing bullets into the rebellious people and a person dies if they try to take it out. These things can make people hypnotized to do what they want, even committing suicide. What I didn’t like is how a kid manages to take it out without killing himself and not explain how. That’s just a way to rush the ending of the story, and it just didn’t look right.

Overall: When comparing this series to The Hunger Games series, I still believe The Hunger Games have a better story and acting even though their third movie took a step back. The Divergent series is up and coming now, and the pressure of The Hunger Games to deliver in their final movie is high. I believe The Hunger Gamed will deliver, and now I will see how the Divergent series handle their split into movie for the final book.

Rating: 4 Stars

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(Sidenote: Left Behind- This remake about the Rapture and the ensuing apocalypse was really the worst movie, acting, action, the worst everything that I have seen in a while. There is really nothing good for me to say about this movie, and to consider this as a Christian movie, I would rather be an atheist. What’s worse, this is a planned trilogy. I don’t know what is going on with Nicolas Cage right now, but he needs to fire his agent, and get a new one that can get his career on back on track, before he is the butt of all jokes forever.
Rating 1 Star)

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(Sidenote: The Best of Me- This romance movie stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as two people return home after the death of a personal friend. He last wish was for them to forgive one another for what happened when they were high school sweethearts. While they were honoring their wish, they rekindled their relationship, even though she is married. This movie for a romance movie was dumb, and very predictable. If this is love, I rather be single, cuz I wouldn’t want to be a homewreacker which this movie encouraged. At least the premise was interesting, but it crashed soon enough.
Rating: 2.5 Stars)

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(Sidenote: If I Stay- This is another romance movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Jamie Blackley as high school sweethearts. They are different as he was an upcoming punk rock star, and she is an up and coming cellist. It talks about their adventure, and their break up, but a car accident with her family, causing her to become a soul in limbo to reevaluate her life and relationship. I guess it is a cute movie, but it was kind of boring for my liking. By the way, this girl had great parents who are rock stars, literally, and she finds them embarrassing. Really now? Teenage drama is never satisfied I guess.
Rating: 2.5 Stars)