Sunday, January 22, 2012

01-17-12: No Divide Here, It's Just Bad

THE DIVIDE (2011) (Unrated) 110 mins. * D: Xavier Gens. Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B. Vance, Rosanna Arquette, Michael Eklund.

After an apparent nuclear attack, tenants in an apartment building find refuge in the building's basement. As the days pass the survivors become more weary, more irritable, more desperate and eventually violent and insane.

This movie was an absolute mess. It actually had a decent first act but once it reached its second act the film deteriorated at a rapid pace. You know going in that this was going to be a survival of the fittest thriller so it really boils down living up to what the story requires. Who's going to crack first, who's going to die, who's going to step up to lead, etc. Those are the conventions of the genre. Now when you throw a curveball that's always welcome. However when you learn the curveball really serves as a mere plot device whose only reason is to make the ending work then that's unforgivable. I expected a callback to this plot development that would explain why it went down but there isn't. The only reason that whole 15 minute sequence existed is so that the sole survivor would have a certain item in the end to help them.

The film is filled with gaping plot holes and contradictions. For instance, one character insists on sealing up the door to prevent radiation from getting in. Later he reveals there's another way out. So he doesn't think to seal that way up too? Performances are uneven ranging from pretty bad to actually pretty good. I'm a fan of Michael Biehn but his performance really came off as flat. Character actions leave you asking why the hell did they do that or why didn't they do this.
You can't really get behind someone when they are inherently stupid.

The film was meant to shock as it tries to show the depths that people will go when they are put in to harrowing situations. I was shocked alright. Shocked at how stupid it was.

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