Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Divide - A Review

So awhile back, I talked about a movie, the Divide.  Apparently, I missed it in the theaters, but the Blu-Ray arrived the other day.  After having the opportunity to watch it, I can say that I wish I had caught it if/when it was on the big screen. 

The director, Xavier Gans, has been hit or miss for me.  I've seen two of his previous films, Hitman and Frontier(s).  I didn't care for Frontier(s), it being a movie where horrible people do horrible things to each other, with some political overtones thrown in as an attempt to make it something more than it was.  Hitman, for whatever reason, I really enjoyed.  Maybe it was Timothy Olyphant, maybe it was that I had loved the video game, maybe it was the fact that it didn't seem to take itself too seriously.  Whatever, I loved it.

The Divide definitely falls more towards Gans' Frontier(s) side of things, but in this case the plot comes first.  Rather than the violence being the point of the movie, it is the logical outgrowth of the story, and communicates the theme.  The setup is simple - nuclear bombs fall on New York City, and a group of people who live in a highrise escape to the cellar to survive, only to find that survival doesn't just mean living.  As you can imagine, they don't all live together happily in the basement.  Things deteriorate, and they get ugly.

Like Hitman, though, Gans shows a knack for the finding the right people for the parts.  Michael Biehn (Hicks from Aliens) plays the survivalist super who initially converted the cellar into a fallout shelter.  Oddly enough, though, the standout actor was Milo Ventimiglia.  I was only familiar with him from his time on Heroes, where he was... let's face it - terrible.  But he is absolutely terrifying in his role here.

There are a few miscues as it goes along, chief among them the break-in scene (you'll know it when you see it), which is frankly mystifying.  It doesn't fit thematically with the rest of the movie, and every plot point the scene advances could have just as easily have been advanced in another, more logical way.

With that exception, though, it's a very good movie, my better half and I were still discussing it the next morning.  Do yourself a favor, if you like apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic movies, check this on out.

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