Insurgent is the sequel to the 2014 sci-fi action movie Divergent, and it's one that avoids the mistakes bad sequels make. For one thing, Insurgent doesn't try to top the previous movie in terms of action, by overloading the running time with explosions, gunfire, and destruction. In fact, there's notably less of that here. More importantly, the story of Insurgent feels very different from that of Divergent. It's clear that the writers (the screenwriters as well as novelist Veronica Roth who wrote the book series the movies are based on) haven't lazily repeated plot elements from Divergent. Everyone has worked together to find new ways to keep the audience riveted, while having it all connected to Divergent.
Given the time that has passed since Divergent, here's a quick recap of the setting. You have the partially destroyed city of Chicago surrounded by a massive wall. Within the city, the citizens are members of five distinct factions: the intellectuals of Erudite, the legal scholars of Candor, the farmers and laborers of Amity, the charitable individuals of Abnegation, and the physically tough protectors of Dauntless. There are also those who comprise the Factionless, not belonging to any of the designated five. Then there are the Divergents, individuals who are skilled enough for more than one faction and are considered a threat to society because they disrupt the order of the five-faction system.
Insurgent begins with Tris (Shailene Woodley), a young woman who is Dauntless but is secretly a Divergent. Following the events of Divergent, she is a fugitive on the run, along with other characters such as Dauntless members Four (Theo James) and Peter (Miles Teller). To avoid detection, Tris cuts her hair short and disguises herself as a member of Amity in order to blend herself in with the Amity community outside the city. However, this does not last long, as members of Dauntless who are loyal and willing to hunt down the fugitives launch an attack to smoke out Tris. A chase ensues, and Tris once again has to find a place to hide.
This movie focuses on another important character: Jeanine from Erudite, played by Kate Winslet. She was seen in the previous movie as a supposedly benign representative of her faction. But now, she has become an ice-cold villainess who wants to destroy all Divergents. She now possesses a special box that presumably contains a weapon to destroy Divergents. But there's an ironic catch. The only kind of person who can open the box is a Divergent. Therefore, Jeanine must ensure that Divergents are captured but kept alive until she can find the one who can open the box.
I'm not going to say what happens next in the story. Instead, I shall comment on how much I liked it. The plot moves nicely from one scene to another, and there is always something interesting to maintain the audience's interest. Along those lines, there are also a few unexpected surprises in store, leading up to a conclusion that is creative and definitely satisfying. And that's all I'm really going to say about Insurgent. If you liked Divergent, you'll like Insurgent and likely look forward to the next film in the series. There's no simpler way to put it.
Anthony's Rating: 8/10
(Review originally published at http://www.anthonysfilmreview.com/Film/I/Insurgent.htm)