Insurgent

Technically the movie is called Insurgent: The Divergent Series, but that just feels awkward and doesn't actually keep the titles together alphabetically. Calling it Divergent: Insurgent is even more awkward, though, and Divergent: Allegiant won't be much better. Heck, my spell check doesn't even recognize allegiant, though it is a real word, just like all the faction names.

Whatever you call it, though, everyone who was anyone in the first movie is back, even a couple of the ones who died. They're only one computer sim away, after all, and there are plenty of simulations here. Some of the characters don't seem quite real, either, but we'll get back to that.

When we last saw our heroes, they had been labeled wanted criminals for the terrible crime of Not Fitting In, and were fleeing the ruins of Chicago for the farm fields run by Amity, the faction of peace and love. Really, the Amitians (?) should have taken one look at how angry Four is all the time and said, "Sorry, no amount of peace and love is going to fix that attitude," and asked them to leave, but they manage to lie low there for a little while anyway. Peter (Miles Teller) is still mostly a jerk, Four is still Angry, and Tris is still wracked with guilt. Her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort, Carrie) appears to have been replaced by a pod person, however, because he seems a little off the entire movie.

But Dauntless, as the name implies, hasn't given up on hunting them, and peace doesn't last long. Soon they're running to the place where Candor hangs out, having heard that those few members of Dauntless that haven't joined the evil Jeanine (Kate Winslet) are hiding there. Considering how strict they are about keeping the factions apart, I'm surprised they all seem so willing to take in refugees, but whatever. Part of it seems to be that Jeanine, though smart, hasn't yet figured out how to make herself well-liked.

Anyway, this time around Jeanine wants a particular box, which turns out to be hidden in the wreckage of Tris' family home (naturally). It also turns out that Tris is the only one who can open this box (of course), because she's 100% divergent. Since that doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm guessing that what it really means is that all five factions are evenly balanced in her personality, so no wonder the testing machine had a fit.

As hinted previously, some of the characters seem to be doing the things they do solely because it's in the script, rather than for any in-character reason that I could see, which was a little annoying. They also get a little too cute with the "is this a simulation or not?" angle, but I was expecting that and it could have been a lot worse. And the acting even seemed a little better -- I wasn't terribly impressed with Four in the first movie, but either he's improved or I just didn't notice any rough spots for some reason. So overall I'll give it a three and a quarter out of five. It seems like the next movie is going to be wildly different, but hopefully that won't be a bad thing. I just hope they knew what they were doing when they decided to split the last book into two movies, and they weren't just blindly copying the Hunger Games.

Image: 
Tris crashes the party. I know, too easy, but I couldn't resist.

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