RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2015
STUDIO: Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate)
DIRECTOR: Robert Schwentke
MPAA RATING: PG-13
STARRING: Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Phifer, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Theo James, Shailene Woodley, Jonny Weston, Daniel Dae Kim, Ansel Elgort, Emjay Anthony, Rosa Salazar, Suki Waterhouse, Keiynan Lonsdale
GENRE: Action, Adventure
A few years back everyone and their mother was looking for the next Hunger Games in the young adult book world. Plenty of people tried and plenty of people failed. Dear god the immense amount of fail. There was one that had hope; Divergent. It wasn’t quite as well done as the juggernaut Hunger Games film but there was potential enough for a sequel and here it is. Only now, it seems that it’s found it’s way to differentiate itself from the others with Insurgent.
I was actually shocked at the amount of action in this one. The amount of gunfire and hand to hand combat was nice to help balance out some of the talk heavy sections of the movie. They also made Shailene Woodley more of a bad ass fighter than before. It adds a layer to the character of Tris that was needed. I will say though, that there were scenes that required her to express conflicting emotions and they were made comical by her inability to demonstrate subtlety in her performance. Kate Winslet is back as Jeanine and just as ruthless as ever. She holds down the role capably as in the previous movie. Miles Teller as Peter feels a bit out of place in this film coming off of his magnificent performance in Whiplash. He’s actually a pretty big part of the film and handles the role well. In my opinion though it just feels like a step back instead of forward for him. Theo James as Four is still as ho hum as ever as Four. Jai Courtney plays the ever evil Eric once more and he’s an even bigger douche than before. Zoe Kravitz who plays a rather large role in the last film is rarely seen this time around. Also, the relationship between Tris and Four is supposed to be super strong at this point but it just doesn’t come across that way. Woodley and James make for a terrible onscreen couple and all of their lovey dovey scenes seem forced. It’s painful to watch.
This movie feels more sure of what this series of films wants to be. It commits to the level of violence and keeps it up. Blood is spilled but seldom shown during kills though which is slightly disappointing. There’s even a sex scene that has Tris showing bareback and straddling Four. I thought that it was a little risque for a film made for teens but, it only lasts a few seconds really. There was also some decent 3-D in this one so that’s something, I guess.
Honestly, there were a few issues with this movie but all in all I had a good time with it. The ending made me want to see the next one and have some questions answered which is usually a problem for me as I despise movies that push a sequel all heavy handed. Robert Schwentke found a way to avoid that here and it adds to the anticipation for more. If you enjoyed the last one you’ll get more than a kick out of this one.