Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Divide Movie Review – The Lucky Ones Died in the Blast

Runtime: 112 minutes
Release Date: January 13, 2012
Rating: R
Director: Xavier Gens

In the not too distant future, nuclear war rips apart New York City. When the first bomb goes off, a group of residents of the same apartment complex try to escape to the street. When more bombs go off, a small group of those people find refuge in the basement, where Mickey the superintendent lives. The basement was built as a bomb shelter so it serves as the only safe place in the area.

Among those trapped inside are the smart young woman Eva, her boyfriend Sam, Adrien, Devlin, Josh, his best friend Bobby, Marilyn and Wendi, her young daughter. Mickey pretty much takes over, rationing out food and setting up rules for the residents. Everything goes fine until a group of men break into the basement. Clad in biohazard suits, they kidnap Wendi and drag her outside while the others hide. Josh, wearing the suit of one of the men they killed, sneaks outside and finds Wendi and some other children strapped to beds.

Josh rushes back to the basement, but not before he finds himself exposed to the contaminated air. As he begins suffering radiation sickness, Marilyn loses her mind over losing her daughter. The film kind of spirals from that point on, leading to every person's attitude and behavior changing as they deal with life inside the basement.

"The Divide" is such an odd movie that I'm honestly not sure what to say. This is the type of film where one character loses his mind and starts walking around in women's clothing, where another woman decides to start a sexual relationship with a man because she assumes that's what men want and that's what she needs to do to survive. Of course, that also means that she winds up completely degraded by the same man.

It's also the type of film where you start to root for the bad guy. Mickey starts off the film as the man who clearly doesn't want anyone inside his space. He knows that there are a limited number of rations and that he doesn't have enough food for everyone, which is why he slams the door before anyone else can get inside. Throughout the film though, the other characters become so obnoxious that Mickey actually comes across as a better person.

"The Divide" isn't as bad as the reviews make it out. There are some strong characters in the film, but the plot leaves some holes behind. Why did people break in just to take Wendi? Especially since it seems like they kill her after taking her? Who were those people, and why did they seal the basement up again after breaking in? It's those type of holes that annoy me. The film takes the time to introduce those scenes and show those moments as important, only to completely disregard it again. I guess it's possible that it was just meant to show why Marilyn and other characters started falling apart, but I'm sure there were better ways to do that.

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