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 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.
Insurgent 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 Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort.
Theo James continues to brood with his shirt on or off, kindling pleasing sparks of on-screen chemistry with his leading lady.
Director Schwentke safely pilots the sequel through some dramatic turbulence, knowing the best is yet to come.