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.
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).
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!)