I should begin by saying that I wasn’t in the greatest state of mind when I watched Insurgent. It was an emotional weekend for my family and my girlfriend was sick as a dog, so it’s not like I was all cheery and rosy, the kind of mood you should be in before you fire up Insurgent in your blu-ray player. Or your DVD player. Okay, fine, on Netflix. Damn kids and your streaming.
The problem with Divergent was not with its entertainment value, but its inability to separate itself from other entries into the dystopian young adult genre. Apparently, Insurgent didn’t learn anything from its predecessor and is perfectly okay with being the sequel we all knew was coming. If you’ve seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you’ve seen this movie. A much more enthralling and engaging version of this movie, and therein lies our issue.
Ever since The Hunger Games burst onto the scene back in 2012, one of the new trends in Hollywood is to adapt any and every dystopian young adult novel into a movie. Something about post-apocalyptic tales of teenage angst and romance just screams dollar signs. The Maze Runner, The 5th Wave and of course Divergent are the most notable attempts to cash in on this genre.
The challenge, of course, becomes how well do these movies stand out from each other? Can they carve their own path and be successful or do they just shamelessly rip off The Hunger Games? I can’t speak for Maze Runner or 5th Wave since I haven’t seen them, but reviews suggest that they may be uninspired.
As for Divergent, the third one in the series comes out tomorrow, with part 2 of the finale due out next year. Splitting the adaptation of the last book in a trilogy into two parts is another Hollywood trend that I wish they’d stop, but I digress.