Insurgent - DVD Review

'Schwentke feels far less interested in the obvious metaphors the film's factions engender and if there's one thing the YA genre could do with losing it is this stuff'

Free from the shackles of the somewhat typical Teen-Dystopia setup (and clunky faction 'hook') that slowed Neil Burger's Divergent, Robert Schwentke wastes no time in getting into some action in the second film of the series, the much pacier Insurgent. Newly escaped beyond the wall, lead duo Four (Theo James) and Tris (Shailene Woodley) immediately become the hunted, as Schwentke sets up a pleasantly complicated plot which involves new potential antagonist Naomi Watts, in amongst the several who are already there.

Once again, Insurgent brings little new to the burgeoning Young Adult literature adaptation genre, though this outing for the series does follow the first in producing two hours or so of fleeting entertainment that achieves a little more than passing the time.

Many of the problems of the first film though, are still here. Jai Courtney continues to be a big problem in whatever he's in, although, thankfully his character is marginalised, along with compatriot Mekhi Phifer, who looks largely disinterested. The first film features a muddled dream/training sequence that never makes itself clear and the second seems to head down a similar route at one point, though again Schwentke proves himself more adept than Burger.

Schwentke also feels far less interested in the obvious metaphors the film's factions engender, avoiding the long conversations about which group young people fit into and how naturally evolving on their own might be a better fit. If there's one thing the YA genre could do with losing it is this stuff and Schwentke is well advised to leave it in the background.

At the finale, the series again finds of way of leaving us with a level of both satisfaction and intrigue, with a further mystery for the forces of good to solve and an emergent threat to yet again refresh the antagonists on show. The Maze Runner series continues to be the most interesting The Hunger Games replacement, but this second edition of the Divergent franchise has enough thrills and loses enough of the baggage to class it as a success.




Insurgent is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 3rd August, courtesy of Entertainment One.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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