*Please bear in mind Insurgent is the second film in the Divergent series so the following review may contain spoilers*
Not even this star-studded cast could redeem the okay-as-a-stand-alone-film but not-even-remotely-close-to-the-book flick – Insurgent.
Currently on the run from evil Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), Four (Theo James) and Tris (Shailene Woodley) seek help from other factions to bring down Jeanine and her minions once and for all.
One thing I was surprised I actually liked about the film was that there weren't many make-out scenes between Four and Tris (and this is coming from a major Fourtris/Sheo shipper.) These days, anything aimed at young adults is ridden with nothing but sex sex sex but the fact that they had faith in the audience and made the film more about conquering the evil works of Jeanine than satisfying their raging hormones restored my faith in humanity a little. So kudos to screenwriters: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and Mark Bomback.
Another thing that was great about the film was the plot and it's pace. The plot was a lot more solid than the first film - Divergent. The adrenaline-filled action could've easily distracted anyone from a terrible plot, however, it was consistent, unpredictable and jam-packed from the get-go, drawing you in immediately. Director Robert Schwentke and cinematographer Florian Ballhaus really made sure to capture the destructed and toxic world they now live in – with great visual effects and cleverly directed scenes, this film has numerous of moments that will leave you breathless.
Now, here is where my candor kicks in. Naomi Watts was cast to play Evelyn Eaton, a former abnegation turned factionless who faked her death in order to escape her very abusive husband: Marcus Eaton, leaving behind her little boy Tobias, now known as Four. Watts is meant to be Four's supposedly dead mother who is now the leader of factionless. Her acting was fine, however, I felt that the casting choice was terrible. She looked far too young to be Four's mother, she even looked as though she could be a fellow member of dauntless!
On the other hand, Edgar, (Jonny Weston) was a great character although he doesn't exist in the books; but what was the purpose of creating this character? He wasn't in the film for a love triangle or to create some long lasting conflict. Edgar was pretty much irrelevant. I wouldn't go as far as to say he needed to be out of the film; Weston has a great presence on screen, even so, during the casting process there was a lot of buzz around the role he'd play and anyone with an IQ above 10 would think that the character would be a big deal - but he wasn't.
Perhaps I'm being a tad harsh, because all in all it was a great action film, but, if you've read the book like I have, you won't be over the moon with the drastic changes. I won't mention them for the sake of those who still haven't seen it. However, despite it's shortcomings, Insurgent is definitely on the list of the must-see films this year.