Review: Divergent: Insurgent
The second instalment in the dystopian films based on the novels by Veronica Roth, sees Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on the run after the events in the previous film.
Janine (Kate Winslet) has the city on alert as she uses her leadership at Erudite to take over leadership of the whole city as the previous leaders were murdered by her in the prequel.
In tow with the heroine are her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) as they decide to take down the militant leader.
But secrets are to be uncovered as Janine finds the box she was looking for in the Prior household – a mysterious message from their predecessors that only a Divergent can uncover.
Janine uses the Dauntless faction as her body guards to hunt out all the Divergent labelling them dangerous and a threat to society, as the other factions decided where they stand.
The film itself is a big step up from the first instalment – I say this because the first film was so unmemorable I had to read a plot outline to refresh my memory, I don’t know what that says about the second film, but it was a definite improvement.
Shailene’s performance was erratic at times – one scene fully engaged in the character and the next was as wooden as a board, although she handled the emotional scenes beautifully, even if I wish they had kept in the PTSD that she is suffering in the books. It would have made the previous lives lost more poignant.
Theo played the role of “Supportive Significant Other” and although it’s nice to see the male character in this role for a change, it does get a little bit repetitive that all he does is follow Tris like a lost puppy.
Ansel – who was most recently in The Fault in Our Stars (TFiOS) with Shailene – was robotic and selfish in the role, however as that is what the character was supposed to be, it actually was a good performance. I thought it would be weird with the amount of times I had seen TFiOS, seeing the two characters go from lovers to brother and sister. I was right. No amount of guns blazing could distract from the fact. Still not entirely sure it was a wise casting choice.
The villains always seem to be the most well-rounded characters – maybe because they’re allowed to have flaws. So Miles Teller and Kate Winslet offered the much-needed support in this film. Everybody loves a good bad guy and they offered them up so well.
Overall an okay film, although maybe it’s just me getting tired of the young adult dystopian novels which all seem to follow the same formula: reluctant young teen has to take down the government. Hopefully the third instalment (of the well-known four film trilogy) will continue to improve upon its predecessor.