The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015)
- Directed by: Robert Schwentke
- With: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Kate Winslet
- 119 Minutes
The second installment of The Divergent Series, Insurgent, brinks back to the big screen the dystopian world created by Veronica Roth in which people are divided into factions (Erudite, Abnegation, Candor, Amity, Dauntless) according with their personality, in order to maintain the social order. Those whose personality fits in more than one faction are called divergents and are considered dangerous for society. (I invite you to read my review of the first movie here.) Insurgent follows the events that take place after Jeanine’s defeat against Tris and Four in an action-packed story that is a bit more exciting than the first installment. Directed by Robert Schwentke, Insrugent stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet in the main roles.
After confronting Jeanine and after running away from everything alongside with Four, Peter, Caleb and Marcus, Tris’s nightmares start challenging her own nature. Lost, confused and constantly seeing herself as a pure danger towards those who she cared about, she tries to do her best in order to keep everyone safe. But when Jeanine starts searching for the one Divergent who might be able to open an ancient box that contained a message from the founders, Tris has to fight for her life and against her own demons that are constantly haunting her.
While the first installment was dedicated to introducing the dystopian reality in a story that is clearly more focused in introducing characters and relationships, Insurgent has a quicker pace and it’s constantly trying to surprise its viewers with thrilling action sequences. However I felt during the entire movie that something was missing… While Divergent caught my curiosity, Insurgent only managed to get me by continuing the story. In other words, what I’m trying to say is that I was expecting a more satisfying plot than the one that was presented because most of the attention is given to Tris/Four relationship. However, even though it lacked some content in the story, I must say that some of the questions left in the air from the previous installment were answered with this one. For the fans of the series, the movie has several differences regarding Roth’s novel and most of them happen in the second part in which the rebels are planning to take down Jeanine once and for all. In the movie, Tris is constantly dealing with her fears and nightmares while people confront her with the terrible events that took place in Divergent… With so many obstacles in the middle, Tris needs to forgive herself before gathering strengths to defeat the woman she hates the most. Because of all this, Shailene’s performance ended up being quite pleasant, by showing a more emotional and devastated side of her character that is basically the series’ heroine, alongside with Four. Tris is brave, powerful and she tries to protect those who she cares about even though she is in grave danger. When compared with Four, Tris is a more complex character that evolves during the movie while she goes through some really difficult challenges. As the male leader, I must say that Four’s presence is a bit weak when compared with the rest of the cast. Theo James gives his best while performing a character that leaves no room for imagination and enthusiasm. Four is basically the strong guy in the movie but emotionally there’s something lacking. Miles Teller was probably the guy that impressed me the most with a character quite difficult to describe that doesn’t belong into any of the sides of this war. Miles is a charismatic and talented actor that adds something enjoyable to a movie that falls into predictableness in some moments.
When one sees Insurgent, predictableness ruins the show several times and it’s quite challenging to feel impressed with the plot. Well actually there is one moment that left me stunned for several minutes but it was so weird and incoherent that I’m still unsure about what to think. The chemistry between Tris and Four is not that convincing which makes their relationship a bit useless to the plot and it only works when Tris is having nightmares or going through some difficulties. The romantic duo of heroes is basically uninteresting when placed in a plot about war and rebellion… As an action movie, Insurgent works pleasantly well with great sequences and visual effects. Some of the characters add a layer of substance to the story but the movie is full of treasons and chichés, which makes it nothing more than just an action movie suitable for teenagers. While Insurgent fails being effective in the emotional side, it still manages to quite enjoyable and thrilling… A dystopian reality that adds nothing to the genre but that it still manages to be enjoyable mostly because of a cast filled with great Hollywood stars. Clearly made for a younger audience, Insurgent lacks the emotion and the substance the genre needs to work but it’s still enjoyable because of the pleasant performances of some of the cast members and amazingly thrilling, leaving almost no room for boring moments. Insurgent is an action-packed title that seizes the impact and potential of the first installment and tries to surprise the fans with a story that is quite different from Roth’s novel.