01 April 2015

INSURGENT + DIVERGENT

INSURGENT

Alternate Title:
The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Fake Working Title:
Mineral

German Title:
Die Bestimmung - Insurgent

USA, 2015
Director: Robert Schwentke

7/10


As you can read below, last year's "Divergent" ended up being one of my biggest surprises in 2014 and made me insanely excited for this year's sequel "Insurgent", whose marketing was just amazing: terrific posters, badass trailers... hell, I was so pumped for this. So, what d'you think? Did I enjoy it?
Yes, I did. It's a very well made and superbly entertaining follow-up, though it's not as great as its predecessor.


"Insurgent", the adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel of the same name, the second installment in the "Divergent Trilogy", follows Tris, her brother Caleb and her partner in crime / boyfriend Four who are now fugitives, on the run from Jeanine, the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. The plot isn't that silly this time, though it contains more plot twists and turns, some good, some not so good, especially the one in the ending which isn't just predictable, but also pretty underwhelming. I also think it was a bad choice to pass on a song-based soundtrack and to replace composer Junkie XL with Joseph Trapanese whose music felt like he rehashed left-overs from his "Oblivion" score.

Aside from that, I was very satisfied with Robert Schwentke's ("Flightplan", "Red") direction. He brings a new and immensely impressive visual style to the series, and also created huge amounts of stunning tension, powerful action scenes (the sequence with the flying house is outstanding!!), and many breathtaking emotional moments. The pacing is tight, the running time is shorter (only 120 minutes) and there's absolutely no dull moment. The writing is solid [Akiva Goldsman ("The Da Vinci Code"), Mark Bomback ("Dawn of the Planet of the Apes") & Brian Duffield ("Jane Got a Gun")], cinematography by Schwentke-regular Florian Ballhaus looks gorgeous as hell, and... holy shit, the CGI effects are so much better than in "Divergent". No wonder with a budget of about $110 million!


Shailene Woodley is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! Her performance is so much better than in "Divergent", she even outshines Jennifer Lawrence in the latest "Hunger Games" installment. She has improved so much, it's shocking - and no, it's not just her new haircut (which makes her look sexy as hell!!), it's... I dunno. She's just badass here! Also great: Theo James (even more charismatic this time - and fantastic chemistry with Woodley!), Kate Winslet (I just love this woman), Naomi Watts (as impressive as always) and Miles Teller (damn cool).

Guess who's already excited for "Allegiant: Part 1"? ^_^




DIVERGENT

German Title:
Die Bestimmung - Divergent

USA, 2014
Director: Neil Burger

8/10








(Review from November 2014)
Okay, busted. After loving the hell out of "The Maze Runner" and both "Hunger Games" flicks, I ended up loving the hell out of "Divergent" too, which obviously makes me some kinda hardcore-fan of dystopian young-adult stuff. Believe me when I say this surprised even me! The trailer for "Divergent" looked somewhat rather retarded but the actual film is simply cool.


Based on Veronica Roth's novel of the same name, the first installment in the "Divergent Trilogy", director / writer Neil Burger ("Limitless") created an superbly entertaining sci-fi action movie taking place in a world where society is divided into 5 factions based on virtues [Abnegation = the selfless / Amity = the peaceful / Candor = the honest / Dauntless = the brave / Erudite = the intelligent]. When main character Tris finds out that she doesn't fit into any faction, which makes her a Divergent, her life suddenly is at stake, because people like her are considered a massive threat to this kinda society...

Yes, the basic premise is about as silly as in other YA flicks, but when you're able to get past that, you're rewarded with about 140 minutes of thrilling action, gripping suspense and touching drama, thanks to Burger's excellent direction, the fabulously brisk pacing which doesn't allow the viewer to slip into boredom, and the well-developed script by Vanessa Taylor ("Game of Thrones") and Evan Daugherty ("Killing Season"). Love the energetic score by Dutch whizz kid Junkie XL, as well as all the awesome dance tunes from Gesaffelstein ("Out of Line"), Skrillex ("Stranger") or A$AP Rocky ("In Distress").


Shailene Woodley isn't as impressive as Jennifer Lawrence, but she's still much better than I expected, and delivers an awesome and very believable performance. Love how her character slowly transforms from weak wallflower to badass survivor heroine. There's also splendid acting by the strangely charismatic Theo James, tough mofo Jay Courtney, hottie Zoë Kravitz and the wonderful-as-always Kate Winslet. Costumes and settings look fantastic, Alwin H. Küchler's cinematography ("Sunshine") is sublime and most of the CGI effects look just great.

Guess who's already excited for "Insurgent"? ^_^

1 comment:

  1. I'll leave you to these YA flicks - glad you enjoy them!

    ReplyDelete

Total Pageviews

:-)

:-)