Following The Hunger Games was always going to be tough for the Divergent series, another young adult novel series set in a dystopian world.

The original Divergent film polarised filmgoers but, despite being ponderous on the set-up and over-long, it delivered an interesting premise, slick visuals and solid casting. The hope was that with the series established there would be more action and less talk in the second instalment; unfortunately, new series director Robert Schwentke (The Time Traveler's Wife), has delivered more of the same.

If The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Divergence are starting to blend in your mind, a quick refresh may be required. Divergence is a fantasy series about a group of people who survived a war and live behind a protective wall in a ruined Chicago.

They live an ordered life, separated into five factions representing their virtues, but cracks in this system have appeared and there's been an uprising thanks to Tris (Woodley), a divergent who fits into more than one faction.

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Insurgent kicks off where Divergent left off, with Tris on the run from the Erudite faction's cold and heartless leader Jeanine, played brilliantly by Winslet.

Tris is joined by her boyfriend Four (James), brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Peter, played by scene-stealing Miles Teller, as they move from one faction to another trying to find an army to help her kill Jeanine.

Insurgent is all about the destination, there's a surprisingly good reveal at the climax, but the journey is a cumbersome plod through messy storytelling. Factions flirt with joining the revolution and personal conflicts see people changing sides without it really being clear why.

There's a moment when Tris questions what she's doing and why, and, given she's in a story that appears to be going around in circles, you can only sympathise.

As in the first film, the sets, costume design and special effects are impressive; but it's the classy cast who keep the series alive.

A brunette Naomi Watts joins the Insurgent team as the leader of the Factionless but the show really belongs to Winslet and Woodley, who are fabulous adversaries and deliver just enough momentum to get Insurgent over the line.

Two more films are still to come, Allegiant - parts 1 and 2. Once again the request is simple: more action and less talk next time please.

Watch the trailer for Insurgent below:

Cast:

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Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer

Director:

Robert Schwentke.

Running Time:

119 mins Rating: M (Violence)

Verdict:

More of the same.

- TimeOut