Insurgent is the second film in the Divergent series based on the books by Veronica Roth, and follows Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James) and the other Divergents as they take on Jeanine (Kate Winslet) and her followers who are determined to kill them all. Insurgent picks up not long after the first film ends, where Tris and Four have escaped Jeanine and are fugitives, along with Tris’ brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) who is not exactly their friend. As they fight to save their society which is crumbling around them, Tris must overcome her own personal demons. In the first film we saw Tris’ parents both die whilst protecting her, and Tris herself kills a friend who had been brainwashed into trying to kill her. All of this leaves Tris with constant nightmares and a lot of guilt. She must overcome this and forgive herself before she can think straight again and take on Jeanine.
Overall the storyline is fairly predictable. There are a few plot twists which you may not be expecting but not enough really as I found myself knowing what was coming before it happened. However the film visually is very good, there’s a lot of computer imagery – particularly when Tris is in simulation mode – and it is certainly action packed as the characters find themselves getting into tricky situations a lot. I did notice two occasions though where the images didn’t quite add up: firstly Four jumps across a train track inches away from an oncoming train and the first shot we see of him landing he is still a little on the tracks but then next shot he is jumping up from having landed way off the tracks. Secondly, Tris jumps into the sky and reaches for a rope swinging off a flying house, this shot is slowed down to add suspense and it is here we can clearly see that she is not close enough to catch the rope and yet the next shot she has grabbed it. Little things but it was slightly annoying.
It would have been helpful to tell us about the different factions again too, I was struggling to remember what each one meant! Just a quick summery would have been nice, but I guess I should have re-watched Divergent to remind me of the story before going to see this one. A reminder for all you though, the factions are: Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent).
The actors all give great performances, it is mostly a young cast and all have proven their acting talents in other films since Divergent came out last year. Shailene in particular has become a break-out star, with her performance in last years film of the year The Fault in Our Stars really putting her on the map. Her co-star in that was none other than Ansel Elgort, proving he can play a lead role and not just a supporting role as he does in the Divergent series. Miles Teller has also gone on to better things, starring as the lead in the Oscar winning film Whiplash. I have a feeling that we will be seeing a lot more of these three in the future. In particular, Miles Teller is a superb actor, in Insurgent he is brilliant as the bad guy and yet his actions towards the end will make you question your judgement of him.
Of course I must mention Kate Winslet, who plays the enemy Jeanine. She is brilliant as always, though it is strange to see her as the bad one as she is more known for her nicer roles! She does it well though as her character is easy to hate. In Insurgent we are also introduced to Four’s mother Evelyn (Naomi Watts – though it took me a while to realise who she was as she looks very different to normal!) who is trying to win back Four’s trust as she left him when he was young. However, all is not as it seems with her and the way the film ends we are left believing that she may cause trouble in the future.
One thing about the ending, I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen. The film didn’t really end with a cliff-hanger like it did last time, in fact everything seems to be okay. Maybe it’s just a ruse to think that they will live happily ever after but seeing as the final book is being split into two parts, it’s obviously not all going to be okay!
I’m not sure why there’s a sudden interest in splitting final books into two films, it seems to be happening in every series now! I guess the film companies are just hoping to make more money by spinning it out for longer. As long as the films continue to be good though, I don’t mind! Hopefully the next in the series won’t be so predictable, but despite this Insurgent is still a good film.