This one ran a little long, so i had to split the vid in twain
The Divide is another independent disaster film, that was the first in theater movie I saw in January of 2012.
(from here, there be spoilers!)
Somebody attacks New York, and apparently the entire US, and a group of survivors hide out in a basement bomb shelter set up by the building’s maintenance man. People are assholes and terrible to each other. And then they all die.
Actually there is a little more that happens, but not by much….
Once in the shelter, Mickey, the maintenance man and former fireman, lays down the law: He is in charge, he dispenses the food and water and he says when the doors will open again.
One of the survivors, Devlin, attempts to contact the outside world, but only attracts a group of hazsmat suited soldiers. Is is not clear if the soldiers are Foreign or American, but they kidnap Wendi, the young daughter of Marylin and then attempt to kill the remaining survivors. Josh, Bobby and Adrien over power and kill the soldiers and Josh is sent to rescue Wendi.
When Josh locates Wendi, she has been shaved, sedated and place in s seal pod. Josh is discovered and only narrowly manages to return to the bunker.
The Soldiers on the outside weld the door shut from the outside and leave the survivors to die. Marilyn, upon hearing that she will not be able to see her daughter again, has a nervous breakdown.
After a few days, the bodies to the soldiers begin to purtrify and Bobby volunteers to chop them up so that the part will fit through the lavatory. The experience causes Bobby to have a psychotic break. He and Marilyn become sexually active a short time later.
After several more days, perhaps a week passes, Devlin confronts Mickey about the rationing of the food. In the heat of the argument Mickey kills Devlin and is then tied up by the others.
Josh and Bobby torture Mickey until he gives the combination to the food pantry, he is then left to die. Josh begins to control the flow of food and water, favoring his friends and shorting the others.
Over the course of the film Eva, who had been in a relationship with Sam, begins to pursue Adrien.
Over time, and sickened by exposure to radiation, Josh and Bobby become more abusive, eventually beating Marilyn to death.
While watching Mickey, Eva learns that he hid a gun in the pantry and that there is a way out of the bunker through the sewer.
Sam retrieves the gun, but accidentally shoots Adrien. Bobby attempts to shoot Josh while Josh is beating Sam, but Eva slits Bobby’s throat with a tin can lid and then frees Mickey. Josh then sets himself and most of the bunker on fire with an oil lamp.
While Mickey and Sam fight the fire Eva takes a hazmat suit and escapes through the sewer, leave Mickey and Sam to die.
The films ends with Eva looking out over the desolation of New York.
I hated this film immediately after watching it and my opinion has not been tempered much by time. It is a truly despicable film that has the gall to have a semi-decent opening and a not-quite redeeming ending.
It is absolutely clear that the opening and ending are the only parts of the movie that were filmed off the script, as the cost of the sequences would have been prohibitive to produce without preproduction.
The Characters, from start to finish are reprehensible and I was bored and then angry within the first the ten to fifteen minutes.
I cannot be clearer about this movie, it made me angry, had I not seen it at an Alamo Drafthouse and hadn’t ordered a drink I’d have walked the fuck out.
The Story – 2.00
Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean – This is the pairs first feature length film, and unfortunately not last. They have both separately written and directed films since The Divide was completed. Take that as you will.
This concept is reaching a breaking point, and the market is become over saturated with end of the world films, television and books. I can see in the near future that movies like The Divide will fade into the shadows of the past and we will all be better for it.
Acting – 2.75
Michael Biehn – Biehn was at the screening that I attended and participated in a Q&A before and after the film. Biehn was actually very good in the movie. I have liked his previous work and that extra experience probably helped prop up his performance.
Courtney B. Vance – Vance is probably the bet actor in the entire cast, and I really wonder what it was that led him to accept this role. He is wasted and then killed half way through the film. The only redeeming part of the middle of the film was the conflict between Biehn and Vance. Wasted.
Lauren German – German is not too bad, possible bolstered by the terrible acting from the rest of the cast. Her previous credits on imdb were Hostel 2 and the TCM remake. Not glowing recommendations, but she has since moved on to Hawaii Five-0 which is sorta a sleeper favorite of mine.
Rosanna Arquette – I cannot be clearer than this: Arquette is terrible in this film, and she should be better than this.
As a group the remains of the cast should have their SAG cards ripped up, but I do have some small notes:
Milo Ventimiglia – I cannot see what it is that people see in Milo as an actor. He must have done something amazing in Heroes, which he didn’t do here, and the less said about Rocky Balboa the better, stop this man as quickly as humanly possible.
Ashton Holmes – Ashton spends most of the movie slowly dying from injuries he sustained at the beginning of the movie. Despite these injures and the weak attempt to make him a viable love interest for Eve, he is killed near the end by Sam (Iván González) setting the ending in motion. He has the least character of anyone in this film, which, I guess is an achievement in and of itself.
Iván González – Playing Sam, the non-boyfriend of Eve. He is presented as weak willed and easily bullied by the other characters, and even his one contribution to the plot is really just pushed through by other characters.
Michael Eklund – I do have an aside for Michael Eklund, he has been in four Uwe Boll films.
Production – 1.75
Xavier Gens – The Director of Frontier(s), a movie that I have not seen, but about which I have heard generally good things. Hitman; about which I have not heard good things. He also directed the X segment for the ABCs of Death, a movie I was sorta interested in, now, not quite so much. I did not like the direction of this movie, at all. I think that the director is supposed to have a vision for the movie that he is making and that a good director can guide improvisation toward that vision. If Gens did so in this film, I don’t care to see anything else he touches.
The Good, the Bad, the Very Bad and the Weird. – -1.25
Despite my massive rage, there was some good in the film:
Opening Destruction – The open scene was obviously on script. The amount of pre-production that had to go into that section alone demonstrates that at some point this could have been a good movie, but instead it just heightens the disappointment I feel throughout the rest of the film.
Hazmat Guys – The mystery of the guys in the hazmat suits and the menace that they could represent was really what the story needed. When you have a collection of characters you don’t care about, you need an external antagonist to distract you.
The Ending – Like the Opening, the Ending makes you believe that maybe a good movie could have been made out of this story, and is just the last nail in the coffin.
Killing Courtney B. Vance – I consider this to be a “Bad” because it was really unnecessary. The conflict between Beihn and Vance was the last bit that made me want to watch the movie, and once Vance died I totally stopped caring.
The Very Bad…
Off Script – I’m not sure why the Director felt that the actors, especially the majority of this cast, would have a better idea about how a story should be told than the FUCKING WRITERS!
Iván González – Ivan was basically a non-character. He spends the entire movie doing nothing but pine over Eva and being bullied. It would have been better to have the character killed off when the Hazmat guys showed up or have him locked out of the shelter at the beginning. He was just another guy to slowly die. And Whine.
Milo Ventimiglio – In a movie like this the villain can make or break your story, and Milo broke this one. He was never more intimidating than the destruction outside and even less so than Beihn, who ends the movie as a secondary protagonist.
Michael Eklund – Much like Milo, Eklund just doesn’t stack up. He’s a weak actor with little screen presence.
…and the Weird.
Body Chopping – Now, I classify this as “Weird” because they play the whole process in what feels like real time. You see and hear all the chopping and they play it as a really disturbing sequence, but it really isn’t as bad as they believe. It is really only disturbing to people that either don’t eat meat, or have never given any real thought as from where their meat comes.
The Divide is a thoroughly reprehensible film, lacking any real entertainment value beyond those that side with the killers in Hostel or Touristas. The Divide is not torture porn, but like those films, The Divide seems to revel in the depravity of it’s characters and bleakness of it’s world view.
As mentioned in the video, when I saw The Divide at the South Lamar Drafthouse Michael Biehn was present and participated in a Q&A. I have included audio of that Q&A below:
Also, I have included my full rant, recorded in my car shortly after seeing the film:
1 / 10
To clarify the rating system, a chart!
|Recommendation||out of 10||Alpha||Metascore|
|See three times, buy the Blu-Ray day one!||10||A+||100|
|See in the Theater more than once.||9||A||90.00 – 99.99|
|See in the Theater.||8||B+||80.00 – 89.99|
|See at a Discount Theater.||7||B||70.00 – 79.99|
|Video on Demand, buy the Blu-Ray||6||C+||60.00 – 69.99|
|Red Box||5||C||50.00 – 59.99|
|Netflix||4||D+||40.00 – 49.99|
|Premium Cable||3||D||30.00 – 39.99|
|Basic Cable||2||F||20.00 – 29.99|
|Don’t watch.||1||FF||10.00 – 19.99|
|Run Away||0||FFF||00.00 – 09.99|
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