DVD REVIEW: Insurgent

Nanjing Night Net

20th Century Fox, 119minutes

SEQUELS can be hit and miss. The quality of the original usually plays a part.

Divergent, the first in this series, didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Despite having all the ingredients for a cult teen classic, it was almost too clever for its own good. Momentary lapses of concentration and I was lost at sea as words such as ‘‘abnegation’’ and ‘‘erudite’’ merrily floated by.

Part one did, however, leave you wanting a conclusion.

Shailene Woodley as Tris leads the way in Insurgent, and the film follows. She is almost unrecognisable as a young woman burdened with guilt and violently angry as she battles her demons – and her nemesis, Jeanine (Kate Winslet).

Insurgent, with Theo James as Four and Shailene Woodley as Tris, has a brighter outlook than its predecessor, Divergent.

Insurgent is visually superior to its predecessor, which was largely set underground and felt both artificial and claustrophobic (perhaps underlining the restrictions, both geographically and socially, of living in a segregated and walled city). Here, the settings vary greatly from faction to faction, but the overall atmosphere is sunnier, lighter and brighter. There is a feeling of hope, and the winds of change are definitely blowing.

Miles Teller makes the most of his role as the self-serving turncoat Peter, leapfrogging Four (Theo James) in the personality stakes (admittedly not a difficult task).

Strong female characters remain central to the series. Insurgent introduces Naomi Watts to the fold as Four’s mother, Evelyn, ruthless leader of Factionless. There is a not-so-subtle hint in the final scene that she will be a major player in the next instalment.

The action scenes are edge-of-your-seat and once again, the final scene leaves you wanting more.

Rating: ★★★

– Lisa Rockman

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