Lunar Drive-In, 22/03 8:00pm
Running time: 119m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Science fiction themes and violence)
Release date: 19/03/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 5.5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 3/5)
Insurgent is the second instalment in a series of science fiction movies based on the Divergent trilogy of books for young adults by American author Veronica Roth. Insurgent is set amongst the ruins of a futuristic and post apocalyptic Chicago, in which citizens are grouped into one of five factions based on their personal predispositions and traits; Abnegation, Erudite, Candor, Amity and Dauntless. Insurgent continues almost immediatley after the end of the previous episode Divergent and is primarily the story of the trials and tribulations of the movie’s heroine, Tris Prior (ShaileneWoodley). Tris (previously known as Beatrice) has discovered that she does not fit neatly into one of these societal categories and indeed exhibits individual traits of each….she is a Divergent, a member of a group now portrayed as a threat to the stability of this carefully ordered society. Tris, her boyfriend Four (Theo James), her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and their few remaining allies are on the run from the power hungry leader of the Erudite faction, Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who has discovered that she needs Tris and her unique abilities to unlock a secret message from their society’s founders, previously guarded closely by Tris’ parents.
This is a movie that can be confusing at times and relies heavily on the viewer understanding the complex faction structure, established and explained in the first instalment of the series and built upon here. There is a strong reliance on special effects, actually used well and frequently in various simulations that characters, especially Tris, are subjected to through the course of the film. Shailene Woodley (with her new and practical blonde pixie cut) plays the role of the main protagonist with strength and compassion, demonstrating the inner struggles that she endures as she comes to terms with her capabilities and the role she assumes. Kate Winslet is wonderfully cold and evil as the villain of the piece. A large supporting cast carries the story well, with particular stand-outs being Daniel Dae Kim as Jack Kang, the leader of Candor and an almost unrecognisable Naomi Watts as Evelyn (a character with a special and surprising relationship to someone close to Tris). It is likely that we will see much more of Watts in future instalments of this series. Ansel Elgort is also suitably weak as the traitorous Caleb. The city-scapes of the ruined Chicago provide a stunning and rather interesting backdrop for the action.
The story is fast paced and at times thrilling, with various great action sequences. Woodley provides a relatable lead character and the progress of the story keeps you interested. You definitely won’t be bored, but you do need to suspend disbelief to get the most out of this film. The plot is a little convoluted and at times you may even be left scratching your head, wondering what just happened…and why, but overall it is a fun film. To get the most out of Insurgent, we would suggest that you should watch Divergent first. Overall, quite enjoyable, but we are probably not in the film-makers’ primary demographic. (DP)