Film review: The Divergent Series: Insurgent(12A, 119 mins)

The Divergent Series - Insurgen: Theo James as Tobias "Four" Eaton and Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior
The Divergent Series - Insurgen: Theo James as Tobias "Four" Eaton and Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior

Hot on heels of The Hunger Games

Adapted from Veronica Roth’s bestselling trilogy for young adults, Insurgent is a slickly engineered sequel that moves the dystopian narrative along at pace to a startling final revelation.

Robert Schwentke’s action-packed film crams its visual pyrotechnics into the climactic 30 minutes when Shailene Woodley’s heroine Tris must complete a series of tasks to prove that she possesses the qualities of all five factions: the selflessness of Abnegation, the courage of Dauntless, the honesty of Candor, the intelligence of Erudite and the inner peace of Amity.

These trials include a visually stunning race against time to rescue Tris’ mother (Ashley Judd) from a burning building that rotates as it ascends to the heavens and fisticuffs between the heroine and her diabolical doppelganger.

Woodley accomplishes these gymnastic feats with aplomb, but it’s during the film’s quieter moments that she truly excels.

In particular, a scene of unburdening facilitated by a truth serum is a tour-de-force of raw, tear-stained emotion that bodes well for the concluding chapter Allegiance, which will be released in two parts a la The Hunger Games.

When it comes to milking cash cows, Hollywood prefers them desiccated when the end credits roll.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Thriller/Romance.

Star rating: 6/10