Wherein I rethink my review of Divergent and backtrack on some of the points I’ve made there and why, I may have been wrong in my initial thoughts on the first film and how it impacts on Insurgent.
Read my review of the sequel here: Sins of the Prequel: a review of Insurgent.
The trouble, sometimes, with writing for online publications is that expediency is key. Getting the article out as quickly as possible means less time processing my thoughts and seeing how the film affects me after time. Yes, I enjoyed Divergent, but after some time, I realised that nothing really stuck. I barely remember the film. It was an on-the-moment enjoyment but it doesn’t stay.
For all my major complaints about the first Hunger Games film, it left lasting impressions on me that stayed with me for a long time. Now, the absence of a well-founded setting that I thought was excusable in Divergent has given problems to the follow-up, Insurgent, and it puts to question everything I feel about the first film as well.
It’s a shame because I like Shailene Woodley and Theo James. The ones who come out winners on these two films are Kate Winslet and Miles Teller, who manage to find their placement within the weakness of the script and manage to synch into the frequency of both films’ tone and come out more memorable and striking despite the failures of both movies. For me, it shows the weakness of Shailene Woodley. She cannot rise above the material (which Jennifer Lawrence always manages to do, even with a weak script like she does in Hunger Games: Catching Fire).
But Insurgent is still going to be a hit. So what do I know?