The Riker Maneuver

Star Trek: Insurrection’s success lies entirely in its ability to hone in on a single theme. In this case, the story integrates life – the fear of death, aging, and the right to continue living. That, but intertwined into Starfleet’s mission statement and how the Enterprise crew justifies a rebellion.

It’s an easy-going script, lowering the dramatic intensity via humor more so than the Next Generation film’s predecessors. Little moments like Worf (Michael Dorn) suffering a second puberty or Data (Brent Spiner) trying to understand aging collectively lighten this thoughtful sci-fi adventure.

Star Trek: Insurrection’s twist also keeps this allegory intact, becoming a tale of generational divide

Using Seven Samurai and/or Magnificent Seven as a baseline, Star Trek: Insurrection differentiates itself beyond the Enterprise crew acting as defenders for a helpless people. It’s a smart balance between trailer-bound visual effects (all computer generated this time) and empathetic dialog, showing Starfleet as corruptible when leaders turn selfish, the same as any large organization or political body. Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) sure-headed command brings his crew into the insurrection with few words – they too share his values.

A mythological fountain of youth encircles the alien planet Ba’ku, treated with a Hollywood screenwriters science-based logic rather than a religious one. Everyone on the surface becomes younger, healthier, and more energetic, something a rogue Federation Admiral sees as a means to defy death. The same is true for another alien race, the latter more aggressive and sadistic in claiming lands as their own.

Even within the main conflict between the simple, non-technological people of Ba’Ku and the space-faring villains keep the core themes. In this case, aliens willing to rip, tear, and stretch their skin to keep appearing young until the planet is their own. The Son’a tribe on the surface prefer a harmonic life, without weapons, gadgets, and any futuristic culture in spite of their own advancement previously. Star Trek: Insurrection’s twist also keeps this allegory intact, becoming a tale of generational divide, even if both sides ultimately want the same thing.

Flirtatious romance brings a charming layer to this Enterprise crew’s mission (or mission defiance in this case), adding stakes to this imbalanced war that finds the heroes outmatched. It takes acceptance of one’s fate to win, and only one side sees it as such.

Star Trek: Insurrection 4K UHD screen shot


A stellar new master lets Star Trek: Insurrection glisten in 4K. Invisible encoding keeps the grain structure flowing transparently, true to the film stock. There’s no damage to speak of, and the brilliant resolution lets detail gorgeously pop. Imagery is visibly scanned at 4K thanks to the enormous texture on display.

Pleasing contrast utilizes Dolby Vision to let the phasers, explosions, and various space-y sights glisten. Solid, stable black levels keep shadows firm (at true black), keeping dimensionality thick.

Various nebulae produce awesome color saturation, oranges especially prevalent. Other colors, like flesh tones, show natural vividness.


While it’s reasonable, Star Trek: Insurrection’s low-end could reach better tightness; each rumble sounds too loose, if powerful. That’s a complaint with limited legs, given the range and volume at work. Explosions and ship engines shake the room with force.

Choosing TrueHD 7.1 to match the Blu-ray, the mix spreads through the soundfield at a constant rate. Motion flawlessly transitions between the available channels, with sweeping effects and worthy home theater-mixed separation, easily reference in this regard. Even with the loosened bass, it’s still viable as such overall too.


Johnathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis provide commentary, with a text commentary penned by Michael and Denis Okuda.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Star Trek: Insurrection
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Exploring life and fears of death, Star Trek: Insurrection is a rich and entertaining sequel.

User Review
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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 49 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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