In film trilogies, the trend is for the second movie to be kind of dark. Or end on a cliffhanger. Sometimes both. There are those that complain when a part two is really part one of a two part story. If that makes any sense.
You could say that The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are really one long film. For better or worse, any number of filmmakers have followed the Star Wars strategy of making a stand alone film, followed by a two part finale. In the case of films like The Matrix, and Back to the Future, the other two movies were surplus to requirements. Say what you will about the Divergent series, but author Veronica Roth didn’t fall into that trap.
This is your spoiler warning.
If anything, the first film, Divergent, was the one that ended on a cliffhanger. There were a number of unanswered questions at the end, one being: What happens next? The ending of Insurgent has a bit of a finale feel to it. Yes, if it ended there, the audience would be left wondering about the Founders, and what will happen when they see what there experiment hath wrought. It might be an unsatisfying ending to some, but I think it would have been kind of cool, not to mention bold.
As I mentioned in my review of Insurgent, I did not see that final shot coming. No pun intended. I wrongly assumed that Janine (Kate Winslet) was the Big Bad of the series, much in the way President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is in the Hunger Games series. I guess that’s one advantage of not having read the books.
Another thing about The Divergent Series not being as high profile as The Hunger Games Series is that it has kind of flown under my radar, since it doesn’t get the same amount of media coverage. That is a good thing for me, since I had no idea that Octavia Spencer, Daniel Dae Kim, and Naomi Watts were even in Insurgent. Never mind the fact that Watts was cast as Four’s mother, Evelyn.
Speaking of things I didn’t see coming, what about when Four (Theo James) executed Eric (Jai Courtney)? I’m not saying he didn’t deserve it, but I did not see it going down that way. I figured Eric would die in a far more elaborate/convoluted way, much like a henchman in a Bond movie.
I keep comparing the Divergent series to Logan’s Run, and considering the ending of Insurgent, it seems like an apt comparison. No, I am not talking about when Evelyn shot Janine, but rather the part when the citizens discovered that there is life beyond the wall. In Logan’s Run, the film ends when the citizens discover that not only is there life outside the city, but that it possible to live beyond the age of thirty. It may not be much of a life, but it beats going to Carousel.