It would've been nice to tell you Insurgent was surprisingly good. Or fun to rant and rave about how lousy it is. But no. It's just there, another middle installment of another teen-targeted post-apocalyptic series, sloshing around for a couple of action and angst-filled hours.
We'd all be better served if I used this space to share my recipe for making really good chocolate chip cookies with pecans, but I can't do that because The Man won't let me. The Man insists that I treat this link of Hollywood sausage like a real movie. Damn! (I can tell you the secret is to grind up a fourth of the pecans in a food processor and blend them into the flour.)
Here's the plot: The hero and her crew are being chased, so they seek refuge over there. Those people don't want them there, but they grudgingly take them in. The hero's crew squabbles and ends up having to leave there and go somewhere else. The pattern repeats. Later the hero gets captured a few times. Luckily she keeps getting loose. Throughout everything, she is riddled with self-doubt and regret, but she never stops because heroes don't stop.
Eventually the villain gets her mitts on our hero. She wants her to undergo a series of trials in order to activate something powerful. Our hero gets jabbed by needles and goes from one special effects sequence to another, toughing it out because that's her job description. Then everybody fights and some people die and a revelation changes everything, but not until the next movie, which will be the first of two movies based on the final book in the series, because that's how the accountants do things these days.
Do you want more details? Of course you don't. This is The Divergent Series, so you either know most everything already, or you couldn't care less.
When the movie starts, a video news broadcaster helpfully explains the structure of the post-apocalyptic society. You know, the way your local newscaster explains democracy when reporting on a police manhunt. In Divergent land, society has been broken into groups based on personality types. This is an utterly preposterous idea, of course. It's as ridiculous as the notion of a society where some people are treated like lesser beings because of the color of their skin and the country of their ancestors. Or a society where people with penises get more opportunities and better pay than people with vaginas.
Did you see what I did there? I inserted subtle social commentary into my movie essay. I just hope The Man doesn't censor my daring statements. [Editor's note: The Man abides.]
A bit more 'bout the production. It has a lot of actors in it. The lead actor shows great promise. Most of the others are fine, though a few of them are underused. So there you go. My thoughts on Insurgence, a product made for people far younger than I am that probably haven't seen enough movies yet to get spoiled by the good ones.