David and I got to go see Insurgent recently and it was interesting. It has been a while since I finished reading the book, but I remembered a lot of the important points and often watching the story played out in a movie will bring back those memories. With this movie it was not the case because there were points that were similar, but then there was a lot that went a completely different direction as well. Some of the problem is that they hit some of the larger points, but then missed the bigger picture of the story. Some of this stems from the ways that they changed the first story, but then there are a lot of things that seem to get changed due to time. The biggest thing though is that it felt like the movie was telling a different story. (Spoilers for Insurgent after the jump)
The big similarity between the book and the movie is that there are milestones that they hit, which mostly consists of going between the various factions. The story starts out with Tris and everyone at the Amity, where they fled to after escaping from Dauntless headquarters in the last story. In the story there were more survivors from Abnegation who ended up at Amity, but that is not addressed in the movie at all. Then Tris and them are chased off the compound and end up going to meet up with the factionless, but how they end up there is different. They find out the rogue Dauntless are held up in Candor headquarters so they head there to find them. The situation at Candor goes about the same and then end up back at the factionless headquarters with the rogue Dauntless. Then after Jeanine forces a simulation to force people to jump from a building, Tris ends up at Erudite headquarters for the end game. The movie hits all of these locational milestones and the basics of these milestones are the same, but the overall story that plays out at most of them is different.
While the movie hits these milestones it misses the bigger picture. In the book the Abnegation leaders had a secret that they shared with Jeanine, which is the larger impetus for why she led the Erudite down the path. Part of the problem is that she knows the secret and it scares her. In the books the only way to not have the secret of that the Abnegation have revealed is to control everyone else and destroy the Abnegation. Jeanine believes that the faction system is the only thing that brings peace and the secret of the Abnegation will destroy that. She wants Tris because she needs to build a serum that will work on Divergent. In the movie they make it that the Abnegation have hidden a message from the founders and Jeanine needs a Divergent to unlock it. Tris has the strongest trend of Divergence so she specifically needs her to unlock the box. This is just a very different story and focus than the book.
Some of the changes that occurred in this movie happened because they made changes in the first. At the same time these changes made the story veer off course a bit. One of the biggest things is that more of the Abnegation were supposed to be saved, which changes the dynamic and story of what happens on the Amity compound. The other piece is that Tobias did not know his Mom was the leader of the factionless in the book, but in the movie Tobias actually knew and is the reason they end up there. The other big part is the search for the ultimate simulation serum. In the books Jeanine wants to control everyone because she believes it is how to keep the society intact. In the movie Jeanine is using the control to get access to the secret box that apparently only a Divergent can open. Just the concept is very different in the book than in the movie.
The movie Insurgent follows the path that the first movie started, but it veers away from the book. Now the end of the movie does lead sort of back to where the third book seems to head, but I am not confident in where it will head. It is just hard when you watch a movie that is supposed to be based on a book that you read and it makes you wonder if you are really remembering the book correctly.