Wednesday, August 12, 2015


As I was rather lukewarm on Divergent, the first movie of this series based on the young adult novels by Veronica Roth, it should come as no surprise that my reaction to its sequel is much the same. Insurgent continues the adventures of Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on the run in a dystopian future broken into strict factions which neither properly fits into. Although the movie has a nice message about individuality, the ponderous path it takes to get there leaves something to be desired.

Despite a strong performance by Woodley as a character far more heroic in her actions and convictions than Katniss Everdeen, time has not made the premise of the series any easier to swallow. Not making that job easier this time around is the sequel's plot which involves a magic Pandora's box which only a true divergent may open and which Jeanine (Kate Winslet) believes she can use to crush the outsiders once and for all.

The sequel provides passable (if forgettable) action scenes mixed in with the various drama of Tris and Four's soap-opera romance, family issues, and shifting loyalties. Insurgent also introduces us to Four's not-so-dead mother (Ashley Judd), the leader of a group without a caste who I'm guessing will play a far larger role in the next film. I also find it a bit humorous that the series has taken two full films to get to the same disappointing conclusion that the equally problematic The Maze Runner was able to reach after one disappointing movie.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include a digital copy, commentary by Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, cast and crew interviews, galleries, and featurettes on the characters and action scenes of the movie.

[Lionsgate, Blu-ray $35.99 / DVD $29.95]

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