33 Horrible Insurgent Reviews That’ll Piss Fans the Eff Off

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If you thought the reviews for Divergent were bad, wait ’til you read what the critics had to say about Insurgent. On Friday, March 20, the adaptation of Veronica Roth‘s epic YA sequel comes to life on the big screen in one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. (It’s basically The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 holding the top spot, then box-office smash 50 Shades of Grey, then Insurgent.) However, critics have already feasted their eyes on the film… and they hated it. Seriously, they ripped it apart.

Although it strayed away from the book series more than the first in the franchise, we sat in the theater in awe of its composition. In our humble opinion, it’s the thrill-ride of the year (so far). Despite all the necessary and awesome intensity, Miles Teller was the comic relief you didn’t realize you needed. (For real, he stole the show.) And, we already knew this from the first movie, but the chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Theo James could not be cut even with the sharpest of knives. Again, this is our opinion. The great majority, though… well, let’s just say they felt a little differently:

1. “I know this doesn’t make any sense,” breathes Tris Prior during Insurgent‘s flamboyantly muddled finale, “but you have to trust me.” You could hardly ask for a more honest line of dialogue than that.”
Daily Telegraph

2. “Despite its earnest tone and unremittingly solemn performances, the entire movie feels like a simulation, devoid of lifelike detail or tangible dramatic stakes.”
Digital Spy

3. “Teenage kicks are in short supply in the preposterous second instalment of Veronica Roth’s derivative Young Adult series.”
Daily Star

4. “Middle films in movie franchises run the risk of being devoid of closure and linearity, and it’s that inconclusive nature to Robert Schwentke’s Insurgent that proves to be its greatest misgiving.”

5. “Kate Winslet as the villainous, power-hungry, ice-cool blonde is the best thing in this overlong sequel in which spectacular special effects dominate and whose narrative is too cluttered to involve us beyond the superficial.”
Urban Cinefile

Tumblr (teendotcom)

Tumblr (teendotcom)

6. “Perhaps instead of splitting the third book into two movies, they should have considered combining the first two into one.”

7. “This second Divergent entry is a more propulsive and action-centric outing, but it turns star Shailene Woodley into a passive observer in her own adventure.”

8. “Perks up a bit when vets like Winslet or Octavia Spencer or Naomi Watts pop up for a scene or two, but for the most part, this all plays out like yet another movie about pretty young people in futuristic sportswear punching or shooting each other.”
The Wrap

9. “Those who found Divergent one young adult dystopia too far will find little in Robert Schwentke’s sequel to lessen bewilderment.”
The List

10. The Hunger Games‘ braindead younger sibling aims for dystopian gravitas but only succeeds at being dull and joyless.”
Film Journal International

Tumblr (teendotcom)

Tumblr (teendotcom)

11. “Maybe that’s why signing up for this sound-a-like saga was secretly a smart move [for Woodley]. When you’re watching Insurgent, trying to quell the boredom, all you can think about is how much better Shailene is than the movie around her.”
Student Edge

12. “The finale, at least, gives one hope that this series will finally diverge from its YA “Hunger Games” formula in the next film.”
Tribune News Service

13. “The plot makes zero sense and Shailene Woodley’s on-screen chemistry with scowling hunk Four (Theo James) is non-existent.”
Time Out

14. “School is out forever in the Divergent series. And honestly, after all that set up, I don’t know that this world is worth saving.”
IGN Movies

15. “Woodley, great in The Spectacular Now and The Fault in Our Stars, is a humdrum action star. Her amiable yet laid-back style turns the film’s key moments from do-or-die into OK-whatever.”
New York Daily News

16. Divergent wasn’t the strongest entry into the teen dystopian genre shared by the likes of The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, and this entry only further erodes the series’ position.”
The Playlist

17. “The only uprising that the regressive, repetitive and recycled Insurgent could ever incite might be in its viewers, rising up out of their seats and making a beeline for the theater doors.
We Got This Covered

18. “Trainloads of action abound (literally), but it’s essentially generic combat. Punch, point, shoot, kill, get out of the way in the nick of time depending on your billing in the closing credits.”
Us Weekly

19. “Jumps headfirst into the mythology of the franchise, so that the only way to have fun is to become truly invested. Which would be fine if the story were intriguing enough to bother.”

20. “‘Will someone please tell me what’s going on?’ Tris cries at one point, and she could be speaking for the audience as the plot becomes ever more muddled.”
Seattle Times

Wikia (Divergent)

Wikia (Divergent)

21. “A Little Golden Book version of drastically simplified socialism accompanied with a healthy dose of warmongering bravado.”
Slant Magazine

22. Insurgent is often more exciting and more eye-catching than its predecessor. Too bad its characters aren’t any more interesting.”
Las Vegas Weekly

23. “There’s also not much in the way of lightness or humour in these kinds of films.”
Sydney Morning Herald

24. “Of the featured cast, only Woodley really achieves any lasting impact in this episode, although the ham-fisted writing sometimes leaves her a little too exposed.”
Herald Sun

25. “While the ending is meant to build up anticipation for the inevitable parts three and four, it plays as mostly resolved; you don’t walk out of the theater thinking, I can’t wait til the next one.”
Newark-Star Ledger

26. “Practically everyone you’re watching seems to be wishing they were somewhere else. So you might want to take the hint.”
New York Post

27. “With its repeat itinerary, Insurgent is less a sequel than a remake. The movie has an ordinary middle-chapter scenario, and less The Empire Strikes Back than Attack of the Clones.”

28. “The cast still shines, but this mid-franchise movie is mostly spinning its wheels.”

29. Insurgent has more action than Divergent, but not much more excitement. Perhaps a more mercenary blockbuster mentality could have at least shaped that action into stronger set pieces.”
AV Club

30. “Even with breathless chases, strong design components and dazzling effects, the story’s organizing principle — the faction system that divides society into five groups based on personality — grows less compelling as Insurgent proceeds.”
The Hollywood Reporter

31. Insurgent is a relentlessly exasperating sci-fi film made, miraculously, with a half-baked imagination, a slaughtered wit, and insufferable direction by Robert Schwentke, the man who supplied 2013 with one its biggest flops, R.I.P.D.
Huffington Post

31. “Long and violent but lacking narrative momentum, Insurgent is an inferior sequel to the already mediocre Divergent.”
Sacramento Bee

32. “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.”
NUVO Newsweekly

33. “It scooped up the right star and it knows it; the film treats Woodley like a get-out-of-jail-free card for all its transgressions and fits of crappiness.”

Perhaps the above critics aren’t in the demographic and we are? That’s really the only thing we can come up with because, again, we were OB-sessed. Have you seen the Insurgent yet? Are you planning on it? What do you think of the negative reviews? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or even pass them along to staff@teen.com!

Watch the trailer for the Divergent sequel, Insurgent, here:

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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