‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ Review: Action Hero Seeks Forgiveness

March 12, 2015 12:00 AM

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‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’ Review: Action Hero Seeks Forgiveness

From the beginning, women have been the heroes, villains, role models and leaders in Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series, so it should come as no surprise that its year-later sequel, “Insurgent,” advances the paradigm, adding a formidable new character in Naomi Watts’ Evelyn — albeit one with not much to do until the next installment. Just as the exposition-heavy “Divergent” promised big things to come, director Robert Schwentke’s like-minded follow-up remains squarely forward-focused, but lacks the moment-to-moment thrill of puzzling out versatile protagonist Tris Prior’s place in a society designed to categorize its citizens into one of five rigidly defined factions. Here, Tris knows her role, and instead spends most of the movie coming to terms with the casualties already on her conscience, making this entire deja vu episode feel like a hurdle the franchise must clear before moving on to its two-part finale.

Though marketed as a kid sister to “The Hunger Games” franchise, right down to its optimistic four-film release strategy (which suddenly feels a bit riskier after the slight dip “Mockingjay” experienced at the B.O.), Summit’s “Divergent” series boasts a significantly different narrative arc from tha...

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