Insurgent appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Like the first film, Insurgent came with an excellent transfer.
Sharpness looked great. At all times, the movie showed nice clarity and definition, with nary a soft image on display. Jaggies and moiré effects failed to appear, and I witnessed no edge haloes. Print flaws also never caused distractions.
Colors depended on setting. In the earthy world of Amity, the film boasted an orange feel, while scenes in the city opted for a more teal impression. While those choices seem predictable, the disc reproduces them well. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. This turned into a satisfying presentation.
I also felt consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Insurgent. Because I don’t have an Atmos-equipped system, this played back as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix, and it was a good one.
With plenty of action on display, the soundscape earned many chances to shine. It filled out the various channels in an active, involving manner that placed the viewer within the spectrum. Different components showed up in appropriate spots and moved/meshed well to form a solid sense of place.
In addition, audio quality excelled. Speech remained distinctive and natural, while music showed good range and clarity. Effects fared best, as they seemed accurate and dynamic. The soundtrack fit the film and added to the experience.
The Blu-ray comes with a nice array of extras, and these begin with an audio commentary from producers Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick. They offer a running, screen-specific look at story/character domains, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and a mix of other subjects.
The Fisher/Wick commentary alongside Divergent became a snoozer, and their second stab doesn’t work much better. Like the first track, this one offers occasional nuggets of information, but these remain in the minority. Instead, we mainly get praise for those involved – when we’re not stuck with dead air. Expect a slow, dull chat here.
Under Insurgent Unlocked, we find seven featurettes. These fill a total of one hour, 56 minutes and 32 seconds as it provides comments from Wick, Fisher, production designer Alec Hammond, 2nd AD/VFX supervisor James Madigan, author Veronica Roth, set decorator Kathy Lucas, screenwriters Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman, supervising art director Alan Hook, producer Pouya Shahbazian, stunt coordinator Darrin Prescott, transportation coordinator Denny Caira, 2nd unit stunt coordinator Wade Allen, executive producers Barry Waldman and Todd Lieberman, fight coordinator Jeremy Marinas, special effects coordinator Bruno Van Zeebroeck, armourer Gregg H. Bilson Jr., property master Sean Mannion, composer Joseph Trapanese, and actors Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Ray Stevenson, Jai Courtney, Ansel Elgort, Jonny Weston, Maggie Q, Keiynan Lonsdale, Zoe Kravitz, Naomi Watts, Daniel Dae Kim, Emjay Anthony, Suki Waterhouse, and Ashley Judd.
“Unlocked” looks at story/character topics, sets, locations and visual design, props, vehicles and various effects, stunts and action, music, and what we’ll see in the next movies. “Unlocked” essentially offers a picture-in-picture piece. The interviews and behind the scenes footage fill most of the screen, but we can see the movie in a small box that changes place depending on the other content we view.
We find plenty of good content in “Unlocked”, especially after the dull Fisher/King commentary. “Unlocked” covers a nice array of topics and does so with reasonable depth and fidelity. Expect a lot of useful material here.
Five more featurettes follow. From Divergent to Insurgent goes for five minutes, nine seconds and includes info from Wick, Fisher, Goldsman, Woodley, Lieberman, Shahbazian, Teller, Duffield, James, Roth and Winslet. The piece looks at changes/development between the two movies. It offers a decent recap/overview but doesn’t prove to be especially valuable.
During the three-minute, 40-second The Others: Cast and Characters, we hear from Roth, Lieberman, Fisher, Lonsdale, Anthony, Waterhouse, Weston and actor Rosa Salazar. As implied by the title, the featurette focuses on supporting roles/actors. A few decent details emerge but “Others” runs too short to give us much.
Next comes the four-minute, one-second Anatomy of a Scene: The Train Fight. It offers notes from Elgort, James, Woodley, Prescott, Hammond, Hook, Allen, and Marinas. We get notes on the development and shooting of a specific action sequence. Though brief, the featurette offers a pretty good discussion.
The Peter Hayes Story occupies two minutes, 40 seconds with details from Spencer, Duffield, and Teller. We find general thoughts about the Peter character. Don’t expect to learn much of value here, as the participants do little more than describe what we see in the movies.
Finally, we get Divergent: Adapting Insurgent for the Screen. It runs four minutes and features Wick, Roth, Shahbazian, Lieberman and Fisher. The program examines efforts to bring the book to the screen. Some of this material already appears during “Unlocked”, but “Adapting” adds a few more details.
A bunch of additional components appear in a Marketing Gallery. This includes two sneak peeks, an “In-Theater Promotional Making Of”, an HBO “First Look”, five theatrical trailers, an image gallery and animated character portraits. This turns into an extensive collection of promotional pieces.
The disc opens with ads for The Last Witch Hunter, Age of Adeline, The DUFF and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I.
As the second chapter in a series, Insurgent works moderately well, and it improves on its predecessor. It still lacks a lot to make it genuinely compelling, though, as it feels to heavily influenced by other stories in its genre. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and audio along with a good array of bonus materials. Insurgent works better than Divergent but it still doesn’t become a particularly exciting adventure.