Second instalment in the Divergent series has been unleashed.
Insurgent picks up where Divergent left off. This time Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Caleb, (Ansel Elgort), and Peter (Miles Teller) are hiding out within the Amity faction, while Jeanine (Kate Winslet) resumes hunting them after they defeated her plan to destroy Abnegation. Jeanine uses Dauntless, without mind control, to track down Divergents to use in an experiment involving unlocking a mysteries box found in a house where Tris and her family lived. In their pursuit to stop Jeanine, Tris and Four must try to win over Candor, while also teaming up with the Factionless.This mission leads them to discovery something that turns their world upside down.
While you don’t have to read the books to understand the plot, watching the first instalment in this series is necessary to fully comprehend and appreciate the complexity of this series. Insurgent assumes all viewers have seen the first film, therefore does not waste time in explaining what has happened previously.
Insurgent steps into a much darker territory with portrayal of rage, betrayal, sadness, revenge and even torture. Pleasantly enough, there are a lot of well choreographed notable action/fight scenes between the Divergents and Dauntless, which will surely satisfy majority of fans.There are very miniscule light hearted moments in this film, most of which are provided by Peter towards the end.
Directorial duties were taken over by Robert Schwentke from Neil Burger, their different style is very evident in this film. Insurgent relies heavily on dark CGI effects rather than the colourful picturesque wide shots found in its predecessor. This observation is in no way a criticism, the CGI work is impressive and gives the film an extra boost. It complements the gloomy and gritty tone of the film even during emotional and painful scenes, such as those involving Tris and her mother (Ashley Judd).
One positive element that is missing is the use of music. While Divergent wonderfully made use of its score to convey certain emotions, Insurgent doesn’t bother. As someone who reviewed the first movie, I found this to be rather disappointing.
Shailene Woodley understood that her character is no longer the excited, wide eyed innocent girl. Now she is the brooding, “dangerous” and weary young lady, fighting for her life and others like her, which she gets across to the viewers with ease. She is clealry a great actress but needs to improve on her fighting skills. There are a couple of battle scenes where she looks awkward.
Theo James gets to shine and grow in his character as Four, possibly the only character out of everyone in the film. Not only do we get to see the softer side to him but we learn about his mysteries background.
Kate Winslet is fantastic as the cold leader of Erudite. She balances well between being incredibly intelligent, perhaps even believing that her actions are for the greater good, to being a complete menace. Naomi Watts is the fresh face addition to the story, though her appearance is minimal, it serves to bring extra twists to the multifaceted story.
Insurgent will not please those insisting on continually comparing every aspect of it to The Hunger Games, but it will delight those that love the Divergent series. Overall, it is a compelling film with strong actors, intriguing twists and turns while also managing to run for two hours without losing any of the momentum. I rate it 6 out of 10 stars.
Insurgent is in cinemas now.