Is the shine off the “Divergent” series already? Granted, the first film wasn't necessarily a critics favorite, but it earned some begrudging respect for Shailene Woodley's performance and the fact Woodley and co-star Theo James actually had some on screen chemistry. The reaction to “Insurgent” hasn't even been that mixed.
The Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment production has earned just a 42 rating on Metacritic (vs. a 48 for “Divergent”) and a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes (vs. a 42% for “Divergent”). Audiences gave it a solid A- on Cinemascore vs. the A grade “Divergent” received. Basically, a 10-20% drop in approval across the board.
It makes this pundit wonder: What were you all expecting? “Insurgent” is certainly one of those films best enjoyed on an airplane, but it's certainly more entertaining than its predecessor. Stars such as Kate Winslet, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts clearly realize the inherent silliness to the proceedings and their performances are happily bordering on camp. The production design is at times more inspired than you'd expect for a YA movie and for all the crap director Robert Schwentke has received over his career the simulation scenes are more imaginative than some of the CG set pieces in the “Hunger Games” films.
Perhaps the media is finally tiring of having to sit through a YA movie every few months. Perhaps it's a little too much Woodley, Elgort and Teller over the course of one year. Or, maybe people are just having a hard time keeping track of all those different factions (which one lives in the Capitol again?).
Just some things to consider as we weave our way through the best and worst of “Insurgent.” Check it out in the embedded gallery below.
What did you think of the second film in the “Divergent” series? Are you excited for a two-part “Allegiant” finale?