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Insurgency with none of the urgency; THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT (12A) .....

Byline: David Edwards Film reporter

ONCE again, it looks as if the accountants are in danger of fouling-up a perfectly respectable movie franchise. Just as The Hobbit didn't require three films and the Twilight series was pushing it with five, this second movie in the Divergent series feels as if it's treading water. There's simply not enough to justify its existence but, hey, the moneymen have spoken.

We return to the future dystopia of Chicago where, in an attempt to keep the population under control, residents have been divided into factions based on their personality types.

Not fitting into any camp are the Divergents, which Kate Winslet's tyrannical leader rules to be a threat to society. Among their number is Tris (Shailene Woodley), who's now on the run with Four (Theo James), as they try to uncover the conspiracy that puts their lives in danger.

She's also out to avenge those who slaughtered her parents.

Naomi Watts, Miles Teller and Octavia Spencer turn up here and there, presumably to introduce themselves ahead of larger parts in the next movies.

Much like the last film, the dialogue and the action suffer from a keen sense of lifelessness. Despite the best efforts of Woodley, her character develops not one iota from the first flick. Given the enormous popularity of Veronica Roth's source novels, with their emphasis on girl power, that's a real missed opportunity. Similarly, James, playing Tris's love interest, struggles with wooden dialogue.

As for the action, which comes thick and fast, there's a sense of boxes being ticked with scenes fulfilling the film's chase movie set-up but being largely super-fluous. Still, the 3D is impressive.

Roth's third and final novel in the series, Allegiant, will hit cinemas in two parts, the first next year and the conclusion in 2017. Listen carefully and you may be able to hear the sound of water being wrung from a towel.

CAPTION(S):

Kate Winslet |reprises her role as tyrannical baddie Jeanine Matthews

Shailene Woodley | trys her best but you can't shake the feeling that Insurgency is treading water

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 22, 2015
Words:345
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