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Insurgent Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Aug 04, 2015
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s review of Insurgent, the second in the Divergent series of films. Is it packed with extras for fans to take home?

By: Lynn Barker

First, teen Beatrice Prior was afraid of her own shadow. She joined the Dauntless faction and, in Insurgent, takes on shadow government operative Jeanine as a warrior and leader of her people. Oh yeah, and she’s scored a hot boyfriend. Will she and Four last?

Jeanine and her assistant CalebJeanine and her assistant CalebCourtesy of Lionsgate

Story Goes 

After escaping the city when the Abnegation group was near-slaughtered in the last film, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), her love Four/Tobias (Theo James), enemy Peter (Miles Teller) and brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) are hiding in the Amity camp.  Meanwhile, Eric (Jai Courtney) has delivered a box, secretly buried under the Prior home, to Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) as her soldiers, with added Dauntless traitors, storm the farmland to test everyone for possible Divergent traits. Tris and gang have to run.

Four and Peter argue in the Amity campFour and Peter argue in the Amity campCourtesy of Lionsgate

Looking for just the right Divergent person to open the secret message in the box, Jeanine goes through several who die trying. On the way to the city, Tris and her group run into tough Factionless folks who back off when Four tells them he is Tobias Eaton. They take him to their leader Evelyn (Naomi Watts) Tobias’s supposedly dead mother who abandoned him when he was only six. She hopes he and Dauntless fighters will join her in overthrowing the Erudite government. Tobias refuses.

Four, Tris and Peter inside Erudite buildingFour, Tris and Peter inside Erudite buildingCourtesy of Lionsgate

In the Candor group, where remaining Dauntless members are hiding, Tris is reunited with Christina (Zoe Kravitz) but Candor leader Kang (Daniel Dae Kim) puts Tris and Four on trial for supposedly leading the Dauntless attack on Abnegation. Under truth serum, Four admits his love for Tris and she has to admit that she shot and killed friend Will in self-defense. Christina, who loved Will, overhears and won’t speak to her.

Dauntless army including Lynn and MarleneDauntless army including Lynn and MarleneCourtesy of Lionsgate

The compound is attacked by Erudite forces and everyone is implanted with trackers that will enable Jeanine to tell who is Divergent. Tris, the perfect test subject to open the box, is grabbed by Eric. She escapes but, when Jeanine forces various Dauntless members to commit suicide until she turns herself in, Tris decides to leave her love Four to stop the deaths.

Jai Courtney as Eric runs like the windJai Courtney as Eric runs like the windCourtesy of Lionsgate

Under Jeanine’s control, Tris is hooked up to a simulator that will force her to undergo simulations for all four factions. She must survive all to open the box and reveal what Jeanine thinks is a message from the founders to rid the world of Divergents thus retaining the status quo. Of course, Tris survives the horrible tests while traitor brother Caleb, at Jeanine’s side, looks on and Peter turns out to be on her side. The founders’ message is the total opposite of Jeanine’s assumption, favoring Divergents as the true saviors of society. With people from all factions joining together, there is a mass exodus toward the land outside the wall where the founders are supposedly waiting.

Jeanine and Tris in the simulator roomJeanine and Tris in the simulator roomCourtesy of Lionsgate

Special Features

  • The biggest extra, quite long, is the featurette Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access covering everything from locations and sets to production design (using the real Chicago to base ruined Chicago on is fascinating), art direction, stunts, fight choreography, weapons, vehicles, set decoration, music, Visual Effects and more.
  • All the major actors plus filmmakers, screenwriter, crew chiefs etc. are on camera commenting on the story, the characters etc.  You do see a little actual filming footage with comparisons to the final scenes in a picture in picture format.

Four confronts Edgar of the FactionlessFour confronts Edgar of the FactionlessCourtesy of Lionsgate
  • There are a few fun highlights like Shailene doing her own stunts for much of the film. We learn that a Cirque du Soliel “flier” helped choreograph much of Tris’s simulation tests and Miles Teller (Peter) is funny saying “In this film, Tris is always beating me up” and voicing that he was star struck acting with one of his faves Kate Winslet. We learn that Jai Courtney as Eric outran everyone, including the camera crew who couldn’t keep up with him. Overall, a fun extra.
  • The rest of the extras are quite short. From Divergent to Insurgent stresses that the film centered on Tris and her emotional Journey.
  • The Others: Cast & Characters presents Veronica Roth and the filmmakers on bringing the Uriah character into this second film, his casting and the casting of Marlene, Lynne, Hector etc. and the creation of the Edgar character to represent The Factionless as a soldier confronting Tris and Four. Interesting.

Tobias, Tris and Caleb run from the Amity campTobias, Tris and Caleb run from the Amity campCourtesy of Lionsgate
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Train Fight – focuses on choreographing the fight between the Factionless, Tris, Four and Caleb on the train as they escape from Jeanine’s soldiers. Much of this is already in the major featurette “Insurgent Unlocked”.
  • The Peter Hayes Story gives fans a little more of an interview with popular Miles Teller talking about Peter’s motives and his growth throughout the movies. Cool if you like Miles…. Or the Peter character.
  • Diverging: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen mostly present the Producers and author Veronica Roth talking about changes needed to bring the story to the screen. Veronica says she was okay with changes as long as her character didn’t change. She was okay with the addition of The Box, etc. .. a little of this is also in the main featurette.

Four and Tris worry about their futureFour and Tris worry about their futureCourtesy of Lionsgate
  • Audio Commentary with the Producers - Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. Not as complete as their chat on the Divergent Blu-ray. Lucy doesn’t talk as much and there is some dead air. There are some fun comments on characters and actors and the revelation that Jai Courtney is a great bartender.  Worth a listen after you’ve seen the film at least once.
  • Gallery of Art and Marketing offers a lot of cool stills and artwork as well as videos hyping the film.

Uriah (Keiynan Lonsdale)Uriah (Keiynan Lonsdale)Courtesy of Lionsgate

Wrapping Up

As the middle movie in a trilogy, Insurgent offers more action but kind of leaves us hanging. The film presents some cool stunts and it’s fun to watch Tris develop into a reluctant warrior with a load of guilt and mental baggage to work through. Some fans of the novels hated the addition of “The Box” but even author Veronica Roth praises it as a great device to tighten her story for film and let the many head-trip simulations Tris goes through run in a more tightened manner.

Tori (Maggie Q) is ready for actionTori (Maggie Q) is ready for actionCourtesy of Lionsgate

The extras in this Blu-ray set are pretty comprehensive, putting all the actors on camera for comments and they are fun to watch but, sheesh, why can’t there be a funny blooper reel/outtakes feature? I’ve interviewed Shailene and Theo and they can be funny and have great senses of humor. I’m sure there were stunt goofs, line flubs and things that make actors human. Fans love that stuff. Bummer that it wasn’t included. So much IS included that we go four stars.

Insurgent Blu-ray Rating:4

Insurgent Blu-ray CoverInsurgent Blu-ray CoverCourtesy of Lionsgate

Insurgent is now available on Blu-ray +DVD!