Insurgent: Book vs. Movie

Oooh… *rubs hands together* We might draw some blood on this one, because both book and movie were enjoyable, and both had significant drawbacks.

For newbies, Insurgent is the second installment of the Divergent Trilogy, an action-filled dystopian trilogy that’s inspired a lot of love (and a lot of outraged shrieking) from its fans. It’s a post-apocalyptic world where the survivors are separated by values: honesty, bravery, etc. etc. Personally I thought “Ability to grow a potato” should have featured more prominently, alongside “Willingness to mate in a world without Clearasil” but hey! No one asked me.

Insurgent pic

On the page, Insurgent suffers from a near-terminal case of Mopey Girl Doing Nothing. It’s a disease that runs rampant in the genre, much like pink eye through a daycare. It afflicted the later books of Hunger Games in a similar fashion, but I’m happy to report like HG, the Insurgent movie producers left all that moping time in shreds on the cutting room floor.

I almost didn’t see Insurgent at all, because the preview was such a CGI extravaganza, and I’m not interested in watching two hours of green screen nonsense. Fortunately, that wasn’t what I got. The film version was a nearly mathematically perfect balance of romance, action and plot. The fight scenes were taut and enjoyable, and I only rarely rolled my eyes in that “This is a simulation, so why should I care?” kind of way.

In the book, there was a bit more emotional depth to the war and the stakes attached to it. In the movie, there was too much focus on opening this random magic box by passing what seemed like insanely easy simulations to show if Tris displayed the required qualities of Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, and…that other one. The nicey-nice hippie farm people one (not surprisingly, the hardest test for Tris. Apparently she needs a little more fair trade green tea before she can blend with the locals).

The Verdict:

Movie. I liked both, I loved neither, but the movie kept my attention longer.

Up Next on Book vs. Movie: The Fault in Our Stars (Ahh, I loved this book so much! I’m unworthy, I’m unworthy!)



1 Response

  1. We just had this conversation at my house! After watching the movie this weekend (3rd time), hubby and BiL (who haven’t read the books) asked which was better. As I don’t get to caught up in the whole book vs movie thing I hadn’t really compared the two. I recognized that the screenwriters opted for action rather than feelings, as you pointed out.

    After mulling it over, I agree with you, the movie was better. The book dragged. I hated the endless self flagellation from Tris and the awkward tension between her and Four. They were more of a team in the movie, and I appreciated the lack of angst between them. I also thought the box was a clever way to introduce the next part of the story, though you’re right regarding the simulations.

    My understanding is the 3rd (and 4th) movie will take a huge departure from the book, which should make readers happy after all the hate directed at Veronica Roth!

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