The second movie of the Divergent series, Insurgent, continues shortly after the first movie, Divergent. Set again, in a post-apocalyptic world, humanity lives in a protected haven, where all citizens are divided into factions based on their aptitudes. Every person is required to fit into one of the four factions: Dauntless, Abnegation, Enmity and Erudite.
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Writer: Brian Duffeld
Director: Robert Schwentke
Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Tiller, Naomi Watts
In the first movie, heroine Tres (Shailene Woodley) is discovered to possess traits of all four factions. This fact makes her Divergent and a danger to society. Tres uses her skills to foil a plan by the Haven’s leader, Jeanine (Kate Winslet) to slaughter certain factions in order to maintain stability.
In Insurgent, a mysterious box is found that holds the secret to maintaining the survival of all humanity. The box contains four simulations designed to test a person hold the traits of all four factions. This means that only a divergent can unlock the box.
After the events of the first movie, Tres, Four (Theo James), Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) are on the run looking for allies. At the same time, an army is being formed by the factions that Jeanine betrayed in the first movie and a group called the Faction-less, comprised of citizens that could not be assigned to a faction.
Jeanine is insistent on opening the mysterious box, but no one can complete all four simulations. She needs a divergent. Action, drama, politics and backstabbing ensue.
Insurgent suffers from what many post-apocalyptic stories suffer from-a weak twilight zone structure. The situation that humanity finds itself in is interesting at best. The Matrix came close to succeeding only to have its sequel muddle the intriguing world.
Then there’s Tres. Tres is the divergent one, who is going to save the world. But she is a reluctant hero. She’s supposed to hold the traits of all four factions, but you never see her use these multiple traits in any significant way, other than the simulations. So she never comes off as special, she only comes off as reluctant.
Finally, the simulations that are designed to test Tres. They work like Tron and the Matrix which uses Tres’ memories to construct a test, but then these tests become surreal and other worldly, like a computerized Salvador Dali painting. It’s weird.
Insurgent is an interesting movie at best, and if you like your movies serialized, then this is adequate, but a movie like this is meant to be inspiring. But the inspiration is something that this movie could have desperately used.