Extra Cinema: Divergent: Insurgent (12A)

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Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James

Director: Robert Schwentke

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

Robert Schwentke’s action-packed film crams its visual pyrotechnics into the climactic 30 minutes when Shailene Woodley’s heroine Tris must 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.

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

Although it lacks the sustained visceral thrills that distinguished the first film, Insurgent confidently lays the groundwork for a fraught journey back to humanity.

While Woodley excels in every frame, many of her talented co-stars are underused, particularly Whiplash drummer boy Teller and Elgort.

Director Schwentke pilots the sequel through a few moments of turbulence, knowing the best is yet to come.

Rating: 7/10