by Jamie Borenstein-Laurie
Insurgent, the eagerly anticipated sequel to 2014’s Divergent, was certainly better than the franchise’s initial entry. It even managed the rare accomplishment of being better than the book—though, in the case of the mediocre Divergent series, that’s not all that difficult. The film follows Tris Prior (a Katniss Everdeen wannabe) and her one-dimensional, super hunky boyfriend Four as they traverse a dystopic Chicago in search of a magical box—or something like that.
With the film’s childish premise— humanity is divided into five factions based on personality, and if you happen not to fit exclusively into a single category you are dangerously “divergent”—Insurgent never really achieves the poignant political commentary seen in The Hunger Games. The film was definitely carried by its more than adept, badass leading lady Shailene Woodley, with a little backup from yummy co-star Theo James’ biceps. But with so many characters to keep track of, the film ultimately wasted the talents of Octavia Spencer and Naomi Watts.
That’s not to say Insurgent was all bad, all the time. For a teen-geared action movie, it served its purpose. Kate Winslet delivered a scene-stealing performance as the evil mastermind Jeanine Matthews, and the visual effects team should be commended for some seriously wowing simulation sequences.
With sleek and gritty scenic design, lots of violence and über-angsty teen romance, Insurgent manages to be entertaining, if not formulaic. Although what can you expect when its source material is pulp fiction at its finest?
So, will I still go see the two-parted (ugh) finale? I’m sure I will. Should you go see Insurgent? Yeah, probably.