American Ultra appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a solid presentation.
Overall sharpness remained good. A smattering of wider elements could seem a little soft, but those didn’t create real distractions. Instead, the movie tended to be accurate and concise. I noticed no shimmering or jaggies, and the film lacked edge haloes or source flaws.
The palette opted for a mix of yellow and teal. Within stylistic choices, the hues looked fine. Blacks were deep and dense, while low-light shots depicted appropriate clarity. The image seemed to be more than satisfactory.
Ultra came with a DTS-X soundtrack that downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1 on my system. With plenty of action scenes, the mix often opened up to give us active information. These used the various speakers to create an involving, effective sense of these situations and circumstances. The elements meshed together well and moved in a satisfying manner.
Audio quality also pleased. Music was peppy and full, while dialogue sounded accurate and concise. Effects demonstrated good clarity and range, with fine low-end response as necessary. This wasn’t quite a demo-worthy track, but it fared well.
As we shift to extras, we find an audio commentary with director Nima Nourizadeh. In this running, screen-specific chat, he addresses story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, effects, stunts and action.
When Nourizadeh speaks, he tends to offer fairly good information. No, he doesn’t prove to be fascinating, but he contributes some nice insights.
Unfortunately, Nourizadeh lets a lot of the movie pass in silence, and that makes it frustrating. We still get enough content to allow the chat to become worthwhile, but it remains inconsistent.
The two-part Activating American Ultra runs 40 minutes, 22 seconds and features Nourizadeh, writer Max Landis, producer David Alpert and Anthony Bregman, stunt coordinator Robert Alonzo, and actors Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, Tony Hale, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo and Topher Grace. We learn about the project’s roots and development, story/character domains, cast and performances, action, stunts and the depiction of violence, and Nourizadeh’s impact on the production. The mix of comments and behind the scenes footage turns this into an effective program.
Assassinating on a Budget fills three minutes, 25 seconds. It shows the everyday items Mike uses to stop his opponents and gives us their costs. It’s a weird featurette and only mildly interesting.
Next we get a Gag Reel. It goes for two minutes, 42 seconds and offers the standard assortment of goofs and giggles. It seems pretty ordinary.
The disc opens with ads for Sicario, Cooties, She’s Funny That Way, The End of the Tour, Twilight Forever and Now You See Me. No trailer for Ultra appears here.
With a clever premise and a lot of action, American Ultra should have become a lively adventure. Instead, it seems flat and lackluster much of the time, without much sizzle to enliven the tale. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio as well as a few useful supplements. Ultra gives us a forgettable action flick.