Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Insurgent' Grand but Glib There's Plenty of Action and Too Little Else in 'Divergent' Sequel

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Insurgent' Grand but Glib There's Plenty of Action and Too Little Else in 'Divergent' Sequel

Article excerpt

Reading the novel "Insurgent" is, at times, a slog. After all, it's 525 pages and no one even labels heroine Beatrice "Tris" Prior an insurgent until page 458 although she fits the bill throughout.

Now along comes the movie sequel to 2014's "Divergent," and it's anything but a drag. It's muscular, propelled by action and visual effects but trims so much fat that some of the story's flavor (including that scene where the title term is used) is lost.

"The Divergent Series: Insurgent" picks up three days after the end of the first movie, which introduced a futuristic world where teenage Chicagoans were forced to pick their lifelong path from one of five "factions." Abnegation's members are selfless; Amity, peaceful; Candor, honest; Erudite, intelligent; and Dauntless, brave.

Tris (Shailene Woodley) doesn't fit neatly into one group but has equal leanings for several, which makes her Divergent and dangerous. She and handsome hard-body beau Four (Theo James) are on the run from the villainous Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the cold- hearted, power-hungry leader of Erudite.

"Insurgent" finds Tris beset by guilt and grief over the death of her parents and a friend she killed in self-defense. She isn't the only one keeping secrets. It turns out that Four's mother, Evelyn (a dark-haired Naomi Watts), isn't dead after all, only factionless and looking to mount an army and go after Jeanine.

Tris could hold the key to the future of the society forged and fractured by factions and maybe whatever world exists beyond the walls - if she doesn't die first. Of course fans of Veronica Roth's series know there's a third book, "Allegiant," and it's being turned into two movies set for release March 18, 2016, and March 24, 2017.

"Insurgent" swaps out the director and writers from the first and makes little effort to provide a recap for moviegoers who missed or forgot what happened. Although it dabbles in some notions about whether the truth will set you free as Candor preaches, sacrificing yourself for the good of the whole or facing your worst enemy - yourself - it mainly concentrates on the action. …

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