The Divergent Series: Insurgent




Shailene Woodley and co. return for more dystopian shenanigans in a nonsensical hotchpotch of CGI.



A run for their money: Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort


So desperate is Insurgent to clamber aboard the Hunger Games bandwagon that it has to remind us that it’s part of a series – a franchise, no less. And so the title to the second instalment in the adaptation of Veronica Roth’s literary trilogy has been changed to The Divergent Series: Insurgent. No doubt it’s suffering from an inferiority complex. Whereas the last Hunger Games episode grossed $752,091,522 worldwide, the original Divergent only managed to ring the tills with $288,747,895. Enough, though, to warrant a continuation of the same.


Here, the plucky heroine Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is now on the run from the totalitarian state (formerly Chicago) governed by a perfectly tailored Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet). Jeanine, who is eager to cling on to her power, broadcasts city-wide holographic infomercials warning the populace of the danger of the ‘Divergents,’ outsiders who fail to fit into the accepted norm.


Anybody acquainted with the recent congestion of dystopian cinema will find this all too familiar, with the CGI-heavy thrills scrambling to make up for the lacklustre characterisation. Thus, it’s hard to care for anyone, even harder to stay awake. A bigger problem, though, is the welter of fantasy sequences, dreams, nightmares, virtual reality episodes and ‘simulations.’ When one is no longer sure what is real or what isn’t, there’s not much point in hanging onto the narrative.




Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Mekhi Phifer, Janet McTeer, Rosa Salazar, Suki Waterhouse, Jonny Weston, Tony Goldwyn.


Dir Robert Schwentke, Pro Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shabazian, Screenplay Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback, Ph Florian Ballhaus, Pro Des Alec Hammond, Ed Stuart Levy and Nancy Richardson, Music Joseph Trapanese, Costumes Louise Mingenbach.


Red Wagon Entertainment/Summit Entertainment/Mandeville Films-Entertainment One.

118 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 19 March 2015. Cert. 12A.