For a film titled Insurgent, there is puzzlingly little to get our hearts pumping faster here; even the action is sluggish. This is a far cry from its energetic, creative predecessor, Divergent, which was released in May last year.
Together, the two works form the first half of a projected four-part film series. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the second installment got stuck in the mud, and it offers little development of the first film’s characters and almost no surprises.
Based on the second novel in Veronica Roth’s three-part series, Insurgent covers much of the same territory as the first in that we continue to root for the 18-year-old Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), who does not fit into any of the five prescribed factions of her post-apocalyptic Chicago community and thus is a Divergent.
She is still with Four (Theo James), her hunky boyfriend with a dark past, who would move heaven and earth to stay close to her. And they are still on the run from (or toward?) imminent civil war, because they have disobeyed the rules of Jeanine (Kate Winslet), who does double duty as the icy leader of the Erudite faction and de facto dictator of the city.
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(Still of Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley in Insurgent. Photo by Andrew Cooper – © 2015- Lionsgate)