Glass breaking everywhere.
"One Choice Can Destroy You"

Hello my friends, welcome back to the Tagline, where I promise I haven't forgotten about you all. Today, just as in the days of yore, I will discuss a piece of flaming hot trash that I recently saw in the movie theater, where they no longer let you put your feet up apparently. I will be talking this time about Insurgent, the stunning sequel to the smash lunch time bullying after school special Divergent. Take a moment to acquaint yourself and then we'll continue. Good? Okay. There are many reasons that I feel compelled to review movies that are invariably going to be trash. Sometimes I fear others will see them and be disappointed at how awful they are. Other times it's just really funny to watch how comically bad something is. Still other times a movie can be bad in a way that tells us how other movies can be good. Every now and then you get a movie that adroitly does all of these things, and this is one such time. Insurgent takes up where the first film left off, with Tris (played by the preeminently unlikable Shailene Woodley) and her grossly older boyfriend Four (Theo James) on the run from Jeanine (Kate Winslet) who is trying to hunt down all the Divergents because she thinks they're bad, and also is a wicked bitch. She heads up the Erudites, who are the caste of smarty-pants that in the first movie led a coup against the nice guys. In the process they murdered the parents of Tris, and she is as a result lookin' for some of that sweet sweet revenge.

So is that your dad or...?
Now you need to understand some things. Things that the movie isn't terribly eager to share with you in any coherent way. For starters, Tris and her Dauntless pals are blamed for an attack on the Abnegation caste, which was orchestrated by Jeanine and her Erudite lackeys, through use of crazy future mind control technology. Unfortunately, no one is really aware of this except for the completely discredited outlaws. I will now explore in detail the first reason why this movie is garbage, and that is the sci-fi word salad plot. It would not be wrong to say that Divergent is about how Bella Swan gets entered into the Hunger Games, and then becomes a Maze Runner. This all takes place in the city from the Aeon Flux movie. What I mean to say is that this movie (and I assume at least in part the books) don't so much borrow as they poach wholesale most of their ideas, and not in an especially clever or inventive way. Generally speaking, if I'd cared enough to I could probably ask "why is any of this happening this way?" and I'd have no good answer. I'd have no good answer because mostly there wasn't one. Things kept happening, in rapid sequence, for seemingly no better reason than that it was what was supposed to happen next. 

The Hunger Games? could be...
This brings me to the second reason the movie is terrible, which is that it was as poorly edited as it was poorly written. It is not uncommon in movies (especially action movies) for jump cuts to fly fast and furious (oh hell I need to see that don't I?) but it's very important for those jump cuts to flow in a way that makes sense. This film fails miserably in that regard, with jump cuts leaping between character groups and locations in a pell mell fashion that causes confusion as much as a well composed movie would keep you engaged with anticipation. There were several scene jumps where I wasn't sure if I were watching a flashback, or dream sequence, or if things were actually happening. To make that even worse, this movie is one of the few I can remember that actually seemed to have some continuity issues. The worst of which involved a single support character who I swear died twice and then was still in the background afterwards. It might have been a different person but... honestly I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

It was really hard to not burst out laughing during this scene.
Bringing me to reason this movie is garbage number three.While the material is not exactly grade A, and the direction is also shit, the actors are not without their own share of the blame. Shailene Woodley is neither a good dramatic actor, nor is she a good action star. She is stiff, awkward, and generally just kind of weird looking. She constantly looks like she is on the verge of a sneer, except when she should actually be sneering, then she looks like she's pretending to be a troll or something. There is a slow motion scene where she is like... trying to make a snarling face or something, but it's just totally ridiculous. Her boyfriend is starkly older looking than her (and I think he really IS way older than her) and he has a mom who shows up in this movie and looks to be about the same age as him, which is weird (Naomi Watts I'll grant is actually 12 years older than him, but still, that's about the age gap between Theo James and Woodley). Also I couldn't help but be weirded out by the fact that Tris' brother is played by none other than her super tragic love Gus in The Fault in Our Stars. So it was just weird relationships all around I guess.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention that this movie has the 3D stink on it bad. In addition to scenes that just GENERALLY didn't make sense, this movie was also rife with scenes that didn't makes sense in order to be SUPER THREE DEE. The 3D bullshit wave is finally subsiding, but it was still pretty strong in this shitstorm of a film. We can all learn a lot from Insurgent, which is to say that it is a textbook example of how not to write, act, or direct a movie.

That's it for today! Join me again next week where I will hopefully talk about cars being dropped out of airplanes.

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