The Divergent Series: Insurgent marks the second installment in the Divergent saga, as well as the first 3D entry in a franchise that surprised everyone by forgoing the glasses-on treatment the first time around. The film is also being featured in IMAX m which brings a larger scope to a film that raises the stakes for Shaillene Woodley’s Tris Prior and her allies.
Our theatrical review will weigh in on whether or not this new release is worth your time, while this column will focus solely on the film's use of 3D. Considering seven separate categories, To 3D Or Not To 3D evaluates the full scope of the 3D viewing experience. Think of it as a consumer's guide for your movie-going, complete with a viewers poll where you can weigh in on how you plan to see The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
There are some sequences that undoubtedly make The Divergent Series: Insurgent a natural choice for a 3D conversion. Unfortunately, those moments are far and few in-between, as there are a lot of talkie moments of dim lighting that don't really lend to an optimal 3D experience. Still, when the film aims for a true 3D thrill, it hits more than it misses - but by a small margin. Teen romance just doesn't convert to 3D in a satisfying manner at this current time.
Planning & Effort Score
The Divergent Series: Insurgent was a last minute 3D conversion, and for the most part it shows. As demonstrated with the fact that the first Divergent wasn’t in 3D, this isn’t a franchise that has paid particular focus to the extra dimension, and there’s painful reminders of that fact at the beginning and end of the film, when similarly dizzying tracking shots come to haunt the viewer.
Before the Window Score
When The Divergent Series: Insurgent really wants to throw things at you, it does so with a decent eye for detail. Shattering glass, a flock of crows, even menacing cables reminiscent of The Matrix all get a chance to shine in the film, and the climactic battle towards the end goes all out with a lot of flaking/disintegrating effects. For a post-converted film, it’s largely on point in the Before The Window category.
Beyond the Window Score
If there was one reason to see The Divergent Series: Insurgent in 3D, it'd be the computers that Kate Winslet's Janine uses to execute her dastardly plans. The depth of field in the 3D presentation is best realized when her displays are up and running, layering the room as if she were stacking windows in physical space. Other than that, there's not a lot of depth outside of the huge simulation at the end of the film.
It doesn’t seem as though those who lit this film had any clue it was going to be a 3D presentation, as the color palette of The Divergent Series: Insurgent tends to be on the darker spectrum of things, and doesn’t mesh well with the shades glasses audiences are forced to wear. A good majority of scenes are made up of shadows and darker shades of black, grey and blue. With a pair of polarized lenses in front of your face, adding a little more darkness to the picture, it's hard to really see any 3D effects at all in some spots, and it affects the aesthetic of the film as a whole.
Glasses Off Score
This is an extremely rudimentary test to show in the basest terms how much 3D you're getting on screen. Take the glasses off, and observe the blur, which will reveal the different layers of depth being used to create the 3D effect. Taking my glasses off while watching The Divergent Series: Insurget, I found that some scenes or portions of scenes were much blurrier than others throughout the film, but in equal measure there were parts entirely watchable without the lenes.
Audience Health Score
Bad 3D can be bad for you, causing headaches, eyestrain or nausea. This is typically caused by filmmakers failing to establish clear focal points, which leads to eyes drifting and bad physical side effects (some are affected more than others). There are two glaring examples of such horrible side effects in The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and they're horrific enough to sink the mostly stable picture a couple pegs down the scale. Other than that, the film tends to play it safe with the 3D, and doesn't screw with your eyes too much.
3D SCORES RECAP
P & E
Before The Window
Beyond The Window
Glasses Off Test
Final Verdict: 3D movies can get expensive, especially when IMAX is an option. If you're a die-hard Divergent fan, then you're obviously going to have no problem throwing the extra cash at The Divergent Series: Insurgent to ensure The Divergent Series: Allegiant Parts I and II are as well funded as possible. However, if you're a casual fan, or are getting roped into this film against your will, it's best to avoid the 3D like the plague. It really doesn't add anything, and only has a couple decent scenes that will make for great Home Theater testing fodder.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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