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The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Cover Media logo Cover Media 22/03/2015

Last we saw of Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her boyfriend Four (Theo James) they had managed to escape Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) after she seized power of the dystopian city at the centre of the Divergent franchise. Fans will be pleased to hear the second instalment, Insurgent, doesn't zoom too far into the future, with our heroes hiding out as it kicks off.

Four, Tris, her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter (Miles Teller) are hidden with the Amity clan as they try to decide on an action plan. While many would relish the chance of chilling with a group known for being peaceful following all the fighting and death which has gone before, Tris doesn't find it easy. She's haunted by nightmares about her parents, which are made worse thanks to Peter's smart mouth and dubious morals. Octavia Spencer stars as Amity's leader Johanna, but even she isn't enough to protect the group from Jeanine's men.

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On the run again, the group eventually splinters and Tris and Four find themselves seeking refuge with the Factionless (where there's a little surprise in store for Four) and then with Candor. Here they agree to take a truth serum to prove they aren't to be feared, but while it works in Four's favour, Tris is forced to reveal a secret from her past which might blow apart her close bond with Christina (Zoë Kravitz). As it seems clear things couldn't get any worse, Jeanine sends her men to seize Tris. The fearless and brutal leader is convinced Tris is the only one who will be able to open a secret box, and that inside is message from those who founded the state, which will prove her mission is the right one.

What transpires shows why Tris is so strong and has some shocks in store for Jeanine, as well as some of the other main characters.

While Divergent was mostly set within the Dauntless faction, this time around we get to see inside some of the other groupings. It's interesting to see just how each of them functions, but don't expect to get too comfortable, as this is a pacy movie which flits between scenes - mostly using running, fighting and shocked looks as punctuation.

That said, there are a few tricky things with this movie. Most obviously, it's hard not to compare it to the hugely successful Hunger Games franchise, which also boasts a strong young female lead determined to stand up to the ruling power. Insurgent doesn't work quite so well; some of the action sequences seem hackneyed and while many will enjoy the love story between Tris and Four, others will view it as just another cliché.


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