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| 20 March 2015 | Reply

Directed by Robert Schwentke
Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Insurgent movie poster

Divergent introduced us to a future society which control humanity by dividing the population up into factions according to their personalities.

Insurgent picks up where Divergent left off: Tris (Shailene Woodley, now sporting boyish short hair) has defeated the manipulative leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet). Jeanine’s evil plot to overthrow control of the established order of things using a serum which effectively brainwashes people to believe they are in a simulated reality (Sim) when in actual fact they are killing real people for her, may have failed, but she has still managed to have the divergents – those who do not conform to any single faction – labelled insurgent rebels, and blamed for the violent uprising that ended the first film.

Insurgent follows a very similar plot trajectory to Divergent: the same hero underdogs (Tris and Four, played by Theo James) battle the same corrupt enemy (Jeanine & Co) for the same reasons, and that enemy uses virtually the same methods of Sim control to turn their allies against them.

In contrast to this over-simplified societal structure, the series will undoubtedly have a pretty wide appeal, though the target market is undeniably teens and early twenties. Thinking back, life did seem a lot simpler at that age – it’s as we get older that the many roots and branches of our lives and experiences intertwine and form a complex life. Perhaps then, the concept of focussing solely on one facet of one’s personality – bravery, altruism, honesty, etc – will ring a bell with Insurgent’s target market more than older viewers, but there is enough action, sci-fi, and plot twists to lift it from the mundane and make this film a step up from its predecessor.

Throw in a mysterious box that can only be opened by a true divergent – Tris, naturally – and some truly terrifying simulations she must endure, and we have the makings of a passable sci-fi action thriller.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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