War­rior woman loses the battle

Kapi-Mana News - - MOVIES -

IN­SUR­GENT

Star­ring: Shai­lene Wood­ley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts and Miles Teller. Di­rected by Robert Sch­wen­tke. Writ­ten by Akiva Golds­man and Brian Duffield. Ac­tion, sci-fi. 1h 59min. M for vi­o­lence. Now show­ing at Read­ing and Event cine­mas.

With so few fe­male- led ac­tion films around, and hav­ing been pleas­antly sur­prised by the first film in the se­ries, I looked for­ward to In­sur­gent, part 2 of the Diver­gent tril­ogy.

Sadly – be­cause it’s al­ways sad when po­ten­tial is squan­dered – this sopho­more ef­fort is more slump than pump, and does not match the first.

The story picks up with Tris ( Wood­ley), her brother Caleb (Ansel El­gort), lover Four (Theo James), and spiky Peter (Miles Teller) hid­ing out in Amity, the sec­tion of their fac­tioned off so­ci­ety where peace, love and har­mony reigns.

Four, tired of the battle and hid­ing some em­bar­rass­ing se­crets, is happy to lie low.

But Tris is itch­ing to strike back at the brainy Eru­dite fac­tion and its power- mad leader, Jea­nine (Kate Winslet), whom she blames for the death of her mother, and whom she is determined to kill at any cost.

Al­ways close to the boil, Tris’s barely con­tained tem­per puts her at odds with gen­tle- na­tured Amity, and soon the four are forced to leave.

But not be­fore Jea­nine at­tacks Amity in her hunt for Diver­gents, so­cial out­liers she de­spises, but who can open a box left by the Founders that con­tains a se­cret mes­sage.

Peter, ever the brat, dobs in Tris and her boys rather than go on the run with them, and the trio have to bust out of Amity.

Along the way they’re at­tacked by the Fac­tion­less, a wild band of mis­fits and taken to their leader, Eve­lyn (Naomi Watts).

The trio forge a ten­ta­tive, if volatile, al­liance with her to bring down Jea­nine and re­veal the an­cient se­cret that will de­cide the fu­ture of all the fac­tions.

De­void of all sub­tlety, In­sur­gent of­ten feels like a story told by teenagers about why ev­ery­one over 25 is just plain wrong.

That naivete serves to make the mo­ments of moral du­bi­ous­ness in the film all the more star­tling.

There’s no shy­ing away from vi­cious­ness, vi­o­lence and straightup mur­der­ing of folks here. And it’s of­ten done with no clear pur­pose.

The worst as­pect of In­sur­gent, how­ever, is that it hinges on a myth­i­cal, mys­ti­cal, mes­sage­bear­ing chotchka, left be­hind by some myth­i­cal, mys­ti­cal Founders.

I’m sure this idea plays bet­ter in the orig­i­nal books, but in cin- ema if you’re re­sort­ing to plot de­vices that are ac­tu­ally, you know, de­vices, you’re re­ally scrap­ing the bot­tom of the ideas bar­rel.

It’s a pity, be­cause In­sur­gent’s post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Chicago is stunning and its cast is strong.

Not even sturdy per­for­mances from the re­li­able Wood­ley, or Os­car-tinted Teller, Winslet and Watts, clearly en­joy­ing her role as the prickly pirate queen, can bring the world to life or sal­vage this mud­dled, awk­ward film.

Bomb: Shai­lene Wood­ley is the un­der­ground war­rior Tris in the dis­ap­point­ing In­sur­gent, based on the young adult nov­els by Veron­ica Roth.

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