Phillip Scherer | Sports Editor
Published March 20, 2015; 9:45 a.m.
Stop now if you have not seen the 2014 adaptation of Veronica Roth’s young adult novel “Divergent,” the first of a trilogy that continues its run on the silver screen with the sequel “Insurgent.”
I found “Divergent” to be one of the most enjoyable movies of last year. It certainly would not qualify as awards-worthy, but it stands up well compared to other young adult novel adaptations. Seeing as I got so much enjoyment out of the action-packed and thrilling film, I had high expectations going into “Insurgent.” While the second adaptation had its high points and was visually amazing throughout, some of the characters seemed to be under-developed and the dialogue was certainly not up to par.
This series follows a dystopian society that separates its citizens into factions based on the role they will play. While most citizens will fit inside one the convenient factions forced upon them, there is a select group of individuals who defy the limitations of the single-minded factions. These people are the “divergents.” They are targeted by the government because it is believed they pose a threat. They must hide in plain sight or be killed.
This movie picks up where the first film left off when Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) was escaping from the government and is now living as a fugitive on the outskirts of society with boyfriend Four (Theo James), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and rival Peter (Miles Teller).
“Insurgent” takes a much more emotional angle than the first film, following Tris as she deals with the turmoil in her life. This was certainly a turn for the character, who spent most of the first movie going through training and fighting the numerous enemies inside the government while she struggled to fit into a group of individuals whose lives are centered around being soldiers. She seems to have far more heartfelt dialogue in this movie. Put simply, she should stick to letting her fists do her talking for her.
The same holds true for many characters throughout the film, as they struggle to seem convincing with what they are delivering. It is clear that the film was cast with action actors as the priority, leaving them to struggle through the poor dialogue as they went.
In terms of action, the film is shot and acted brilliantly. The cast is convincing during the numerous action scenes. The one complaint I have is with the film’s use of the slow motion action shots that seem to occur every 15 minutes, most of the time without adding anything to the storyline.
I would say that if you go into this film with reasonable expectations, you will have a positive experience. Do not expect anything close to a film with critical acclaim. You will not find it. Instead, understand that this movie is based off of a book intended for young adults and reassess your expectations accordingly. It is a movie that provides quite a few fun moments along the way.