Insurgent: Movie Review
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Insurgent, the second movie based on best-selling author Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, works up some movie magic in the CGI department and keeps pace, making the two hour-long movie go by fairly quickly.
Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars) reprises her role as Tris Prior opposite her love-interest Four (played by Theo James), but the stars of this saga set in post-apocalyptic "Chicago" are in its supporting cast. Insurgent builds to a nice ending, but some of the more gripping moments point to the next movie being the one to watch.
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Horrible nightmares haunt Tris as she grieves the death of her parents. Needing asylum, she hides out with Amity, the rural, peace-loving faction located on the outskirts of the city. But when Erudite's scheming leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) decides to track down all of the divergents, those who can thrive in all five factions of their society, Tris and everyone she loves are put in real danger. They must find a way to protect the people from Jeanine's plans, but the threat Tris soon realizes is closer to her than she thinks.
THE GOOD AND BAD IN INSURGENT
Having never read Roth's trilogy, it's hard to say how closely this new installment in the Divergent movie franchise follows the novel on which it's based. Consequently, this review covers how Insurgent contributes to Tris' continuing story, the message it sends, and its merits as an action flick.
These dystopian, young adult-centric stories (also thinking of The Hunger Games) are packed full of lessons to be learned. These young heroines are dropped into extreme circumstances and must find the courage to confront tyrants bent on subjugating their people. With Insurgent, moviegoers are giving a lot of backstory; for instance, we start to understand why Jeanine does what she does. As the story unfolds, the characters faces questions of grief, bitterness, loyalty and love. Roth's Christian beliefs peek through her story in moments of reflection and the power of forgiveness in the face of betrayal.
Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements and brief language, Insurgent is not for kids. One of the supporting characters drops the F-bomb. Tris and Four are intimate on screen, with one scene showing them kissing as they undress (bare backs are shown). The screen goes to black, with the next scene showing them lying in bed together. Also, one violent scene shows a Dauntless "agent" executing a divergent with a gunshot to the head and then threatening to kill a child.
The wit and edge Miles Teller (Whiplash) brings to the role of Peter is one of the movie's pluses, as is Naomi Watts' turn as Evelyn, the mysterious leader of the factionless. Some cliche moments unfortunately befuddle the movie's amazing visual effects and action sequences, both of which are reasons fans of the first movie and/or books will want to see this on the big screen.
IN THE END
Insurgent is pretty good, entertainment-wise; however, caution is advised. In some ways, it's more entertaining than the original. Here's hoping the "oh my gosh!" ending is a good sign that the next movie is going to be even better.
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