<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Director Robert Schwentke. Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Jai Courtney, Octavia Spencer, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Zoe Kravitz, Daniel Dae Kim
Based on the worldwide ‘bestseller’ the sequel to the hugely dull Divergent movie is here! And thanks to a change of director and veering from the plot of the actual book, Insurgent is more of a sci-fi action film than young adult fiction. Yay!
If you need to know about the background of this series then do read my review for Divergent here since I’d be loathed to repeat the history and break up of the factions etc etc. In fact, most would have forgotten about the film or mixed it up with other movies like The Giver or The Maze Runner. The series is similar to The Hunger Games; well a wannabe version.
In Divergent, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her beefy boy Four (Theo James) are on the run from Jeanine’s (Kate Winslet) Erudite army who want to wipe out the ‘Divergents’ from the organised and walled dystopia they call home.
As the group progresses through the film they encounter other factions like ‘Factionless’ and ‘Candor’ trying to convince them that Erudite has grand plans to wipe out their detractors and competition. A new character played by (Naomi Watts) is introduced but she fails to create much interest till the final scene where she sets up a new plot twist for the next film.
What is engaging about Insurgent are the action set pieces. Lots of cool CGI is utilised effectively through the film and especially in the ‘SIM’ scenes where Tris must undergo tests for each faction to unlock the mysterious ‘box’ that ultimately sets up the next chapter in the franchise.
Shailene Woodley has pretty much the same expression on her face throughout the film, showing very little range. Whiplash’s Miles Teller has the comic role and plays out his duplicitous double-agent machinations with aplomb.
Insurgent’s strength as a stand alone film lies in the fact that it has some good action and sci-fi elements even though you’re never quite sure what this series is really all about. Sure, it’s about divergence or being different but it certainly is a round about way of saying it’s okay to be ‘special’.