Insurgent

 

Lionsgate

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements and brief language.

 

Plot Summary: In the post-apocalyptic future of Divergent, Tris and Four continue their fight against Jeanine in an effort to maintain peace and societal order.

 

PopFam Recommends: Insurgent is a teen movie your kids will want to see, and you might want to see it too, but I think you’ll be sorry you did. (I was.)

 

If you saw Divergent, the first in this series, you know the basic plot of Insurgent already. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll need a bit of a tutorial to understand the plot line of this sci-fi thriller.

 

In our collective future, society has been whittled down to 5 “factions,” into which everyone must fit: Erudite (those who are intellectual and scholarly), Dauntless (the brave, or peacekeepers), Candor (those who stand for truth), Abnegation (those would be your social workers), and Amity (the peaceful).

 

There are actually six factions, if you consider those who are “factionless.” These are the people who chose a faction, but then decided they didn’t fit there. Once a faction is chosen, it cannot be un-chosen, which leaves the factionless homeless. They live on the street, and are the ones for which Abnegation cares. With me so far? OK.

 

Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are unique. They both chose Dauntless as their faction, but they really could fit into multiple factions. They are divergent.

 

This is a problem beccause to be divergent is against the law. So, Tris and Four guard their secret carefully. Still, no one can hide forever, right?

 

In the first movie, Divergent, Tris and Four led the charge in outwitting the Erudite leader, Jeanine (Kate Winslet), in her effort to destroy Abnegation. Now they’re living as outlaws, trying to stay off the grid until they can re-connect with other Dauntless and overthrow Jeanine altogether.

 

Jeanine, though, has discovered a special cube, which contains a message from the founders of their society. Trouble is, only a divergent can open the cube and access the message. Divergents are her enemies...Where will she find a one who can open the cube?

 

Watching Insurgent, I couldn’t help but fell like this movie has trouble on several levels. The plot isn’t confusing in and of itself, but the names of the factions are horridly difficult to remember. Also, at times it becomes hard to follow who belongs to which faction, and which faction can be trusted. It’s like a Russian novel, where each character goes by five different names, and you’re responsible for keeping them all straight, leaving you saying:

 

“What...? Who...? Why...? I’m so confused!”

 

Additionally, the acting is just not what we’ve come to expect from powerful thespians like Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley, among others. Winslet just looks, and acts, like an uptight business woman, which doesn’t lend much credibility to her evilness. And it seems like Tris cries in every scene. She’s more torn and terrorized by her internal demons than the one threatening to end her world.

 

Side note: What is it with heroines in young adult novels and movies? Katniss, in The Hunger Games, is just the same. Strong and full of fight in the first movie, but frightened and full of tears in the subsequent stories. But anyway...

 

Parents should be aware that Insurgent earns its PG-13 rating and does contain potentially offensive content. Tris and Four have an implied sexual encounter, and there is some crude language. Worst is probably the violence, though, which is prevalent in the movie.

 

Still, for me the most distasteful aspect of Insurgent was simply that it’s not very good. A disappointing effort.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• When Jack Kang gives Tris the truth serum, she fights against it, because she’s ashamed of what she’s done. How is her physical pain like the emotional pain of keeping a secret? Why do we fight so hard against telling the truth, when freedom from guilt and shame is available? Explain.

 

• Not unlike the society Tris lives in, we often label people by the friends they surround themselves with, or the careers they choose. What does Tris teach us about appreciating the many facets of a person?

 

• Tris chose Dauntless, because she is brave and desires to fight for the helpless. Yet she is kind and benevolent, because of the way her parents raised her. What lessons have your parents taught you, that will stay with you the remainder of your life?

 

--JW

 

Tags: Divergent,Insurgent,Allegiant,Veronica Roth,Dauntless,Kate Winslet,Shailene Woodley,Theo James,Tris,Four

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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