HOLLYWOOD—I will be the first to admit when the first installment of the “Divergent” franchise hit theaters in 2014 I was no major fan. There was one problem with the movie that I couldn’t escape; it reminded me of “The Hunger Games” franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence, only this one starred Shailene Woodley. After seeing the movie a few times, I’ve grown to see the differences between the two franchises. One caters a bit more towards the tween culture, the other a bit more towards the adults.
The second installment in the series “Insurgent” finds Tris (Woodley) on the run with Four (Theo James) as they are pursued by the wicked Jeanine Matthews portrayed by Kate Winslet. I’m not sure if there is a trend going on in Hollywood or what, but more A-list actresses are crossing over to the dark side and it’s a treat to watch unfold on the big screen.
The narrative finds Tris and Four being hunted for their attempt to destroy the takeover of their culture. Plenty of people ask can you see the sequel without seeing the first one. In all honesty no; simply because you might be a bit thrown by the various terminology used in the movie. So to simplify things, the movie revolves in a world where the human beings are broken into categories i.e. personality groupings.
The goal of the rulers is to keep people imprinted in those categories to maintain control and to prevent any anarchy. There is one slight problem, those deemed ‘Divergent,’ meaning they don’t fit into one specific group must be eliminated out of fear they could lead a revolt. Are you still with me? Good, cause that’s how the sequel plays out. The relationship between Tris and Four heats up to say the least; the chemistry between Woodley and James is palpable, so the audience knows the love story is continuing to evolve and oh does it in this sequel. Our villainess is after a box that holds the key to solving all of the problems, but this secret box can only be opened by a Divergent, which leads to another witch hunt to capture all Divergents to prevent that from happening.
Assisting our protagonists are Peter (Miles Teller) and Caleb (Ansel Elgort), who the audience is forced to determine if they are the good guys or bad guys. I will admit the writing in this second installment is not only clever, but edge of your seat thrilling. I couldn’t believe how entertained and excited I was by the movie. It also helps that the movie really elevated the level of action-sequences and special effects for its second outing.
I felt at times I was watching “The Matrix,” and I must admit the movie has a twist similar to that franchise that may or may not annoy moviegoers. While some might suspect that “Insurgent” is a movie catered to a younger audience, I beg to differ. This is a movie that is a good time from start to finish, but seeing “Divergent” first will make it that much sweeter.