Somewhere deep inside "The Divergent" series there is a good movie waiting to come out.

The second film in the series "Insurgent," takes the franchise closer to accomplishing that task - but doesn't quite find the finish line.

It's a step in the right direction, but I'm still waiting for the film to deliver on its promise.

"Insurgent" picks up with Tris (Shailene Woodley) on the run following the events of the first film.

Tris is still grieving, feeling as if the events at the end of the previous film were all her fault - stemming from her divergence.

Her feelings for Four (Theo James) are growing stronger, but Tris is worried he could be the next loved one she may lose - especially with war imminent.

Tris and Four are put in further danger when Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) finds a device that could strengthen her power, but can only be opened by a divergent.

"Insurgent" is directed by Robert Schwentke, who brings a little life with a few well staged action sequences.

But once again the director, and cast, are stymied by a script that sputters when it should soar - still feel of clunky exposition and also features a few huge plot holes that became a topic of discussion by several in attendance at the screening.

Woodley is a dynamic actress, but the film doesn't take advantage of that. Winslet is wasted too, while the additions of Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer also bring less to the project than you would expect.

About the only person who seems to inject life is Miles Teller, who has a lot of fun playing a role where the character's allegiance keeps changing at the drop of a hat.

When Teller is on screen "Insurgent" is better for it.

"Insurgent" builds to a final sequence that looks like it will send the franchise in a totally different direction for the next installment.

In a way it kind of felt like a cheat, much like the end of "The Maze Runner," but I think it could be a blessing.

Maybe a change of direction will be good for this franchise and hopefully it finally finds that good movie waiting to bust out.

"Insurgent" is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements and brief language and is now playing at the Regal Greenwood Mall Stadium 10, Highland Cinemas in Glasgow, and the Franklin Drive-In.

Grade: C+


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