Jul 29, 2011 10:33 AM EST
A Look Into Anchor Bay's New Film, The Divide
During Comic Con 2011 FlickDirect had a chance to preview Anchor Bay's new film, The Divide...
The idea of ultimate survival is a common theme in many movies. Taking away man's most basic luxuries and forcing him to return to a more primitive state allows us to wonder what we would do if faced with such a situation; the new movie The Divide starring Milo Ventimiglia and Lauren German attempts to ask us that same question.
The film doesn't waste any time opening with a vivid sequence of images as the city of New York is bombarded with a cascade of explosions. The origin of these is never fully understood, perhaps to give the audience a better sense of what the main group is going through. As the tenants of an apartment building make their way down to the street they realize there is no hope of surviving outside. The landlord, Mickey (Michael Biehn) summons everyone close enough to follow him down to the basement. There he has built a bomb shelter of sorts with the most basic of provisions.
As they settle down after the initial chaos it becomes clear to most everyone there that their would-be benefactor Mickey is not as stable as they hoped. He spends most of the movie raving about foreign enemies and scaring most of the denizens around him. Josh (Ventimiglia), and his brothers Adrien and Bobby (Michael Eklund and Ashton Holmes) are none-too-pleased about their current situation, and wish to find out what's going on above even though Mickey insists they stay indoors. Eva and Sam (Lauren German and Ivan Gonzalez) are an unhappily married couple and Marilyn (Rosanna Arquette) is a single mom trying her best to keep her daughter safe.
At first their situation seems hopeless and it isn't long before they are getting on one another's nerves. Suddenly their door, which is sealed, is unlocked from outside. Mysterious men dressed in some sort of hazmat suits wielding strange guns enter the bunker. It is fairly obvious they are hostile, especially when they grab Marilyn's daughter and seal in a body bag. During the commotion the soldiers are killed, luckily, and Josh volunteers to dress as one to try and deduce what is going on outside. During his short trek Josh witnesses unexplained experiments being conducted on children but before he can learn more the enemy soldiers chase him back into the bunker.
Once back inside everyone begins to fully realize how hopeless their situation really is. With no hope in sight and Mickey acting more and more suspicious it isn't long before Josh and his brother Bobby turn on Mickey in an effort to find out what he is hiding from them. They only succeed in making matters worse and Josh and Bobby declare a monarchy of sorts over the other survivors. Now there is little they can hope to accomplish without sinking to the same level as their faux leaders.
While The Divide does have an interesting, if familiar premise, what it fails to do is portray any of the characters with sense of intelligence. When Josh and his brother begin their questioning of Mickey over the source of his food, Eva is aware they are going too far yet she does nothing about it. Later when she decides to rebel against Josh and Bobby, she looks to her husband for help when, for the entire movie, he has been completely unhelpful and useless. Also there is one large plot-hole and that comes in the form of the mysterious soldiers. It is never explained why they took Marilyn's daughter nor if they are the source of the current devastation. Their presence in the film doesn't add anything relevant except to give the audience something other to think about.
While The Divide does feature some good performances from each of its actors, especially Milo Ventimiglia, none of them can do much to elevate the overall film past its obvious problems and with a such a plethora of good shows out at the moment featuring similar theme's, The Divide does not succeed in making much noise.
-- Chris Rebholz
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