To the casual moviegoer, it was almost impossible to discern what set Divergent apart from its YA-inspired brethren – it was as generic as movies come.
With a rebellion er… catching fire… in the world of Divergent for the sequel, the familiarity is still strongly felt. But it’s a little easier to stomach the lack of originality when the film gets down to business, action-wise.
Freed from the world-building burdens of the first film, Insurgent is able to focus on delivering a series of half-way decent action set-pieces. Again, nothing ground-breaking happening here, but at least they’re stealing from the best – some very Christopher Nolan-esque aesthetics are embraced.
Shailene Woodley, surrounded by her love interests from previous movies, projects lightweight spunk in the lead role, while a boringly broody Theo James offers up a variety of grimaces. Kate Winslet brings mild villainous heft, even though she appears to stand in the same spot for the entire movie. A dark-haired Naomi Watts makes her presence felt as a new addition to the cast.
Although Insurgent is predictably guilty of the most predictable YA crime – watering down potent sci-fi ideas with teen angst – it nevertheless demonstrates confidence in its simplistic ambitions, and appears to be playing directly to its target audience.
The first film was impossible to take seriously and that is still the case for the sequel. But it’s less of a chore.
‘Insurgent’ Movie Times (also in 3D)