Far in the future, the farmlands surrounding Chicago become a tropical paradise. That's right: Super-hot-in-the-summer, super-cold-in-the-winter Chicago is now a hippie dream where people wear light fabrics and sleep in hammocks. Of all the things in Insurgent—the second installment of the YA sci-fi action Divergent series—the lack of concern for Chicago winter is the most unbelievable.
Insurgent doesn't do much to catch you up on what happened in Divergent, the first installment of the series. As the film opens, the rubble created in Divergent is still smoking, but government bad guy Jeanine (Kate Winslet) has acquired a bigger special-effects budget. (Unfortunately she blows it all on feathered dissolve effects.) Meanwhile, Tris (Shailene Woodley) has cut her hair because she's emo now, and will continue to be for the entire film. Four (Theo James) makes fun of her for cutting her precious feminine hair and everyone in the theater has a good chuckle. In Divergent, all the staring and panting between Tris and Four helped lift the film out of mediocrity. This time, the stifling absence of that heat left me disappointed. Their hot romance has turned into a habit relationship fast.
Winslet, as the nemesis older lady who the rebellious teen must unseat, is both unfuckwithable and occasionally unrecognizable. And for some reason, the film doesn't have good lines for anyone other than the forgettable character of Peter (Miles Teller), who, because he is Miles Teller, steals scenes left and right. Tris, meanwhile, cries in the shower.
A lot of people panned Divergent for its unabashed rip-off of another YA series, but I liked watching Tris bloody her knuckles and become a badass. This "crybaby in an unnecessary shower scene" stuff is not what I expected. Also, not to be a whiner, but the 3-D IMAX glasses hurt my face.