Divergent has been called many things sadly not always been positive but now Insurgent is ready for it’s home release can ‘the Poor cousin of The Hunger Games‘ deliver what lacked in the first film?
In defence of Divergent, it wasn’t really a bad film, just a film with a confusing premise, even more, if your not familiar to the popular Young Adult novels the films are based on. Robert Schwentke‘s sequel does deliver but only just, opening more doors leaving you thinking ‘Is this franchise just one big tease?’
Picking up 3 days after the first film, Tris (Shailene Woodley). Four (Theo James) are now on the run. After the chaos that killed Tris parents the pair are on the run along with her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) are blamed for the attack. Looking for somewhere to hide until the dust settles they find refuge in The Amity faction (led by Octavia Spencer ) a peaceful farming Amish-esque people. Just when things are starting to settle Jeanine (Kate Winslet) discovers where they are hiding and sends her Dauntless minions to capture the ‘insurgents’ forcing them once again to go on the run. With Conspiracy riding high Tris is determined to go head to head with the route of the problem, Jeanine, a road that will unearth secrets of Tris past and Four too.
If your still picking your brains on the the faction and what they all stand for be prepared for 2 more that are introduced. Candor led by Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim and Factionless led by Naomi Watts both may not have the same stature as the late Phillip Seymour-Hoffman, Julianne Moore did for The Hunger Games .They give Insurgent some scope things run more smoothly more straight forward than Divergent. The emotional range of most of the cast is limited especially for the male cast however Miles Teller‘s opportunistic Peter does deliver delivering some much needed humour to a lifeless society. However this is a totalitarian dystopian society where emotion is really a crime.
Woodley does give the film some hope moving from a Tris a young woman struggling to understand what’s going on. Accepting her fate and sacrificing herself to save the many (plagued still with guilt) with conviction. Scwentke inputs more fluidity into the action scenes, a genre he’s at home with, sadly though the momentum doesn’t last as it disintegrates at times leaving some set pieces feeling out of place.
Whatever your thoughts on Divergent franchise, it will always have it’s detractors like many film franchise, it will never win everyone over. Strip away the pointless 3D, Young Adult film genre traits, Insurgent still wears it’s ambitions well, keeping things simple but loosing them in confusion when things get complexed. Predictable the film maybe, it will never reach the heights of The Hunger Games, but with enough substance to give the franchise a run for its money. It’s just a shame they don’t live the movies moto, standing up for what they are no matter the circumstances. Insurgent nonetheless is an improvement on the film first (only just) delivering the basics required for an typical young adult film, and a lot to live upto when the film films arrive.
Paul Devine | ★★★
Sci-fi, Thriller | USA, 2015 | 12 | eOne UK | 3rd August 2015 (UK) |Dir. Robert Schwentke | Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts | Buy:2 Disc Limited Edition [DVD]