While I honestly can say I wasn’t too impressed with last year’s surprise hit “Divergent,” its recently released sequel “Insurgent” is a slight improvement. But the series still continues to miss the boat.
“Insurgent” once again stars Shailene Woodley as Tris Prior, now on the run with her love, Four (Theo James), in the dystopian landscape of Chicago and the destruction of their home. They find a remote community named Amity and try to unite the remaining factions against their archenemies known as the Dauntless, led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet).
We get some new characters this time around but, unfortunately, none of them are very memorable or well-established. Octavia Spencer plays one of the leaders of Amity, and Naomi Watts is Four’s estranged mother.
There is one good action sequence in the movie. It takes place near the end, when Tris invades the Dauntless’ territory and undergoes a series of simulations in a Matrix-esque environment. It’s actually pretty thrilling and well-choreographed. Too bad it comes too late.
“Insurgent,” like “The Hunger Games,” is another movie that will no doubt appeal to fans of the books and the young-adult crowd who go in for this sort of thing. However, it still remains very hokey and kind of silly, and it gets carried away with being a “Hunger Games” wannabe. The story still is too lukewarm to care about, the characters can be very flat and one-dimensional, and it’s impossible to find most of the action scenes rousing enough to get involved with.
Woodley does have an energetic, convincing presence here. She often looks like a cross between Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss from “Hunger Games” crossed with Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley from the “Alien” series, but both of them are still equally superior in terms of presence and character development.
(Rated PG-13 for intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements, and brief language.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in south Georgia.