The sadly lukewarm take-off for the first instalment of the Divergent series - based on the books by Veronica Roth – back in April last year didn’t really get the ball rolling for the expectedly huge franchise. However, the second of the trilogy Insurgent is guaranteed to take audiences by pleasant surprise, writes Megan Appleyard.
The Divergent story follows Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), a teenager living in a dystopian city divided into five factions based on virtues of the human personality. However, Tris and boyfriend Four (Theo James) don’t fit into just one faction, but in fact all five, making them an apparent threat to the peace of the city, and a wanted prize for ruthless leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine (Kate Winslet). Together, Tris and Four go on the run, seeking refuge in the faction of Amity, planning a way to take down Jeanine and end the system once and for all - but Jeanine will do all in her power to prevent this from happening.
Unlike Divergent, Insurgent is the hot box-office smash that is finally going to turn Tris’ story into the worldwide phenomenon it was written as.
From the minute the opening credits begin to roll, there is not one moment where the audience will be unentertained or checking their watch.
Although a little clichéd, cheesy and over-complicated in parts, one thing this movie is not is boring nor predictable. Even a rather unadventurous and basic script from Duffield and Goldsman can be overlooked, as with source material as original as Roth’s, there are so many twists, turns and didn’t-see-it-coming moments that you remain completely engaged regardless.
Woodley soars as the fiery Tris, attacking the character with resilience and fiest but also a depth and vulnerability which is what makes her so likeable as the lead role.
The chemistry between her and Theo James’ Four is endearing, especially as the romance here serves as more of a side story than the head of the tale – which is a refreshing change. Additionally, a smaller yet just as riveting performance from the charming Miles Teller won’t go unnoticed – his ability to play an evil character yet still come out indisputably likeable is a talent.
Although not quite brilliant enough to succeed as the new Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings franchise, the Divergent series will no doubt be a hit across the globe. With an outstanding cast, a captivating plot, clever graphics and crafty direction from Schwentke and his team – Insurgent is a very enjoyable watch, a rush of excitement and a scary thrill for adults, teenagers and kids worldwide.