Back to humanity in action-packed sequel

The Divergent Series - Insurgent. Photo: PA Photo/Entertainment One/Andrew Cooper
The Divergent Series - Insurgent. Photo: PA Photo/Entertainment One/Andrew Cooper

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.