It doesn’t feel like that long ago that Divergent was released, but the sequel, Insurgent, is already making its way onto the big screen.
In a society of five factions based on personality and rigid segregation, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is a divergent who doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.
As she struggles to find out what it means to be divergent, Tris must also battle Jeanine, the cruel ruler (played spectacularly by Kate Winslet), who is determined to wipe out any divergents to maintain her iron-fisted control.
While the factions have always been reminded of their differences and taught to live separately, they must work together if they are to have any hope of overthrowing Jeanine.
Woodley’s acting is on top form, and she manages to portray Tris as both vulnerable and courageous – although her hair does get suspiciously blonder as the film progresses.
Tris’ boyfriend and fellow rebel Four (Theo James), also does a commendable job as the handsome male lead who is hiding his own secrets, although it would have been nice to see the relationship develop beyond intense kissing and surface remarks about the strength of their relationship every 15 minutes.
The film stays true to the book which is always nice. What is also satisfying is that Insurgent works equally well as a standalone film as it does as part of a series. Flashbacks and explanations are all natural and well placed, and nothing feels awkward or forced. Although understanding the characters and their relationships adds depth to the film, anyone who hasn’t seen Divergent won’t feel left out.
While fellow YA adaptation The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 ended with a frustrating cliffhanger (and the feeling they’d eked out the content just so they could split the last instalment in two), Insurgent doesn’t feel stretched thin and the ending has enough of a resolution to bring the film to a satisfying conclusion, making this one you won’t want to miss.