Since when do sequels become more compelling than originals? #Insurgent #CatchingFire

Can we address how sequels are now becoming much more legit? I talk about the magic of Hunger Games’ Catching Fire here, but there are many more that are really bringing it and can definitely hold their own in trilogies nowadays. Case in point: Insurgent.

 

Okay. It wasn’t the best film and I probably was fangirling a lot, but Insurgent pretty much blew me away. From the beautiful shots and playable action on-screen, to the relatively predictable (and some genuinely surprising) plot points, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the film. Shailene, an actress I believe has not reached her full potential acting-wise (meaning that I HOPE she has better acting skills that will reveal themselves in the future) and Theo have an on-screen chemistry that works well for the film franchise. While some of their interactions may be cheesy, I still enjoy their little moments. Also, the film grapples with the strong and feminine female leader dynamic, also giving the audience foils to which they can compare our main lead (Shailene). These foils include the leaders of the Dauntless, Factionless, Erudite, and Amity clans. Each one of these leaders embodies feminine characteristics while kicking ass in their own way. It’s a great lesson to pass onto young girls everywhere (which is why I saw it with my niece)!

 

Factionless leader and Theo’s mother in the film, played by Naomi Watts.

Of course, certain details failed to truly capture the moments and could have been picturized differently. For example, the use of flashing lights while at Candor to signify that the protagonists were under attack seemed to take away from the urgency of the scene itself. With multiple soldiers zipping through the scene and trying their best to hit Shailene’s character, the action switched to an establishing shot on outside lighting flashing yellow. This flashing seemed almost out of place with the craziness of the action surrounding Shailene and her Dauntless counterpart. I just felt like the director could have orchestrated a better shot to capture the revelation and exhilaration associated with an enemy springing out of nowhere. Besides this, though, there were no real complaints regarding how the film was shot. 

 

Shailene just being a baller and breaking boundaries everywhere.

Now, can we talk about how Theo James’ character treats Shailene’s throughout the film? Um… If guys who actually behave like that in life exist they are probably all snatched up. From the way he dotes on her and treats her like an equal, to his ability to remain moody but never lash out at Shailene, Theo’s character really sets the bar high in terms of relationship goals. Add he supports all of her decisions, tries to protect her no matter what, AND looks the way he does? I mean, come on! I’m never going to find someone good enough.

 

One more thought on this film: I like how they gave it a satisfying ending. Having never read the books, I expected the characters to be stuck in a similar situation as the end of part 1 or even part 2. In times past, the second film of a trilogy served as the information-heavy film, explaining to audiences what exactly is going on and setting up the action for the third film. This film definitely wraps up all plot points from the first two except for one outlying point to which I know I hadn’t given much thought. And the way in which they hinted at it was so subtle that it flew under the radar for me. Those sneaky directors and screenwriters 🙂 (mind you I had also never seen the regular trailer for this film, so many of the revelations pictured in the trailer were new to me…)

 

Overall, this film, while it may not win any awards, was cute, enjoyable, and compelled audiences (or at least my niece and me) to sit and watch the film throughout. Not many films can command such attentiveness, so major props!

Movie Rating: ★★¾

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