The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3D review

Second instalment in this dystopian sci-fi saga offers more for adults (whether Young or not)

With all of the world-building taken care of in last year's slightly creaky Divergent, this 'Young Adult' sci-fi sequel can get down to the business of driving the narrative forward while exploring the characters in even greater detail.

The fact that …Insurgent ends up being more enjoyable than snore-fests like The Maze Runner and the last Hunger Games sequel rest predominantly with the cast. Shailene Woodley continues to impress as Tris, imbuing the character with a sense of strength and purpose, while the likes of Kate Winslet and franchise newcomer Naomi Watts provide compelling support. It also doesn't hurt that the film ups the stakes when it comes to action scenes, crafting a series of muscular, edge-of-your-seat set-pieces as its heads into its last act.

Picture: This double-disc release includes separate stereoscopic and 'flat' 2.40:1-framed 1080p presentations of the film.

Converted in post-production, …Insurgent still delivers a good-looking 3D experience that boasts convincing separation across the foreground and background, giving the image a hefty sense of depth. And while there isn't too much in the way of negative-parallax effects, the stereoscopic encode creates an appreciable sense of space. Check out the holographic displays and scenes of Tris smashing out of her glass prison during the virtual reality simulations (Chapters 12 to 15) to see just how effective it can be.

Given the technical strengths of the 3D version, it should come as no surprise that the alternate 2D presentation looks very impressive. Some of the darker scenes see a slight drop in shadow detail, but overall it makes for an attractive watch in HD.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: EntertainmentOne is the latest UK distributor to jump on the Dolby Atmos bandwagon with this Blu-ray release – although, while crystal-clear and endowed with LFE impact, it's not the most consistently adventurous soundmix you'll ever hear.

As well as the virtual reality simulations later on, Chapter 4 is a standout moment, featuring heroes Tris, Four and Caleb making an urgent escape across woodland; score and gunfire propel the action, until they find momentary salvation on a high-speed train – before discovering the carriage they're on contains the Factionless – and the train fight, one of the tightest action scenes in the movie, ensues. The sound design and Atmos execution here is solid and unrelenting, the height layer emphasising the speeding train while the scrappage continues across the front soundstage.

And don't be put off if you don't have the necessary Atmos kit, as the core Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix still delivers a vibrant and convincing soundscape. Once again, it's the VR sims (particularly the first two in Chapters 12 and 13) that provide the best demo sequences, thanks to their energetic use of positional effects and thunderous low-end frequencies.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: The 2D platter is packed with goodies. These include a chat-track with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, five short featurettes and an extensive 'marketing gallery' containing four promo videos, five trailers (one in 3D) and a gallery of poster art.

Best of all though is Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind the Scenes Access. Running 117 minutes, it offers a detailed look into the production while the film itself plays out in a small window in a bottom corner of the screen. And if you don't fancy watching it all in one sitting, Insurgent Unlocked… can also be viewed as seven separate featurettes.
Extras rating: 4.5/5

We say: A superb hi-def release for this surprisingly thrilling and emotive teeny-bopper sci-fi

The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3D, Entertainment One, Region B BD, £35 Approx