The second instalment in the Divergent trilogy, you can read my review of Divergent here, opens with Tris (Woodley), Four (James), Caleb (Elgort) and Peter (Teller) having fled the city to hide out in Amity. They all remain tense and are really just hoping to be able to rest and figure out their next step before they move on again.
But their respite does not last long as Jeanine (Winslet) discovers she needs a Divergent to open a sacred box with a message from the long dead elders who initially created the factions. She sends out her henchmen, including the nasty Eric (Courtney) to bring in as many divergents as possible and naturally, Tris is at the top of her list.
Eric arrives at the Amity compound looking for divergents and ends up in pursuit of Tris et al. Left with few options, Tris and Four make their way back into the city to seek help from the Candour faction. On their way back, they have an encounter with Four’s long estranged mother Evelyn (Watts) who is a resistance fighter and wants Tris and Four to lead a revolution. I don’t want to spoil but …. it gets weird.
Jeanine eventually captures Tris and Tris endures a harrowing experience in a (forced) attempt to open the sacred box. Does she succeed? And if she does, what is the message? Ahhhhhhhhh now that would be telling ……
While the first movie was all about belonging, this is all about standing out and apart from the group, being your own person. There is generally some sort of introspection and self acceptance before you can step out from the crowd and while Tris’ introspection is rather hurried, the self acceptance takes some time. She is confronted with truths she can barely acknowledge and it really is rather heartbreaking to watch.
While this movie stepped up the violence and action from its predecessor, it also stepped up the drama. The pace was a little slower because there was not the rush of the first movie to build the foundations of the narrative and I enjoyed this slowing down. I have seen criticisms that the movie was boring and although it may not be my cup of tea, I am hardly the target audience.
Tris is a worthy heroine as she frees not only her body but her mind as well. Woodley is a fine actress and we will hear and see more from this young lady for many years to come. Miles Teller, as the duplicitous Peter, steals every scene he is in. As usual. One of my favourite new actors whose star is most assuredly on the rise. Winslet is a little less brisk as the Ice Queen Jeanine and Watts, as her polar opposite Earth Mother, gives a fine if brief performance.
I look forward the final instalment which has been announced, to my dismay, as a two-part offering. Yes I too hear the sighs of resignation.
Insurgent is worth a look. It had a huge inbuilt audience and for the uninitiated, go and check it out. But I think you already know if you will want to see this one and it is better than the last Hunger Games movie….
3 stars out of 5
Love Flick xx
Director : Robert Schwentke
Starring : Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Zoe Kravitz
Running Time : 119 minutes
Release Date : 19 March 2015