Directed by Xavier Gens
Cast: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance
Anchor Bay / Region A (Blu-ray) & 1 (DVD) / Not Rated / 2.35:1 Widescreen / ENGLISH: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 & SPANISH: Dolby Digital Mono / Subtitles: English, Spanish / 122 minutes
Disc Extras: Audio Commentary with Director Xavier Gens and Actors Michael Biehn, Michael Eklund, and Milo Ventimiglia
People love the notion of an apocalypse these days. Some even fantasize about having their very own underground bunker with bottled water, canned items, and weapons at the ready. But let’s ruin that doomsday wet dream and inject some truth into the situation. So what if you’ve avoided catastrophe by hiding in a bunker with food and water? You’re going to run out of supplies eventually. The people with you are going to lose their cool. Face it, you’re going to die just like everybody else, and it’s probably going to be worse for you than those who are already dead. This darker aspect of the end of the world is what The Divide is all about.
The Divide isn’t a new fangled idea. Survivors of what could be falling meteors, terrorist missiles, or a different attack (you don’t know because the survivors don’t know) run into an apartment building’s bunker for safety. The superintendent was ready for the end of the world, though the guy didn’t want anybody else in his bunker, and throughout the film, you understand why. Within this bunker, the movie plays out in three very different acts.
You’ve got act one where people get to know each other, eat beans from cans, and share theories of devastation. Then you get some action as a team of scientists try to break into the bunker. You got some good action here, though it quickly winds down without any answers to their predicament, so we’re again left with a bunch of people stuck in a box. Act two involves knocking down the person in charge and putting in new people to control who gets what food and what they have to do to earn that food. Act three turns into a dark psychological exercise where the long-term fate of the remaining survivors is realized. This final act is grim, sickening, and depressing, so be ready.
I liked the movie, and I didn’t like the movie. The cast do a respectable job in their roles, the movie is well shot, everything looks slick, the problem is this is nothing new. I always base my opinion of end of the world films, even zombie films, on how they end. What’s the last word? What’s the point? This is the problem. In the third act, characters make jumps from sane to bat shit crazy without the proper lapsing of time and motivation. And the ending, well, I saw it coming. But on the other hand, the sad despairing tone we’re left to chew on makes sense. The end of the world isn’t exactly a cheery situation. The final verdict, this is decent one-time viewing, so waste a night, but not two nights, on The Divide.