A few of us Biff Bam Poppers have watched the new Xavier Gens film The Divide lately, and I think we’ve all come away with different opinions on the post-nuclear war flick staring Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia and Rosanna Arquette. With the film fresh in my mind (and my eyeballs), I thought I’d give you my ambivalent take on it.
The Divide finds eight people living (trapped?) in a fall out shelter underneath their apartment building, one created and maintained by the buildings superintendent, Mickey (Michael Biehn). As the days go by, we watch the group dynamic unravel as our survivors (victims?) realize that there is no way out for them. What comes next is murder, dismemberment, rape and more unpleasantness. Suffice to say, The Divide isn’t for everyone.
Read on after the jump!
At slightly over 2 hours, The Divide felt way too long. I was fidgeting and checking the smartphone while I was playing. A little bit of editing could have certainly made the whole thing flow much better. That being said, director Xavier Gens does manager to create a palpable sense of claustrophobia for the films duration. Some have called the movie a sci-fi film, but apart from the fact that it begins with a nuclear holocaust, this is really a drama about people living together and the loss of society.
The performances were a definite mixed bag. I thought Milo Ventimiglia, best known for his role on Heroes, was actually very solid as Josh, who becomes the Alpha male in the group and could be argued to be the film’s villain. I was also impressed with Michael Eklund, who plays Josh’s friend Bobby, and who has a really intense and uncomfortable scene with the squeamish Sam, played by Ivan Gonzalez. Ironically, Gonzalez is absolutely horrible in the film, but Eklund manages to still make their big scene together notable. Michael Biehn has his moments as well, and we do get learn a fair amount about his character of Mickey without him giving long exposition, but I’d say he played crazy better in The Abyss.
The problem with a film like The Divide is that it can really only end in a few finite ways, which makes it somewhat predictable at the end of the day. What I will give it credit for was supplying me with one of my favourite things – a non happy ending. I won’t ruin it for you by giving it away, and really, you’ll be able to figure it all out yourself at some point, but I did definitely appreciate the final moments of the film.
As I mentioned, there are some uncomfortable moments during The Divide, and at the end of the day the film doesn’t really say anything profound, though it tries. However, I’d say it’s worth watching for its tense moments, Milo Ventimiglia’s solid performance and the great scene with Michael Eklund towards the end of the film.
Have you seen The Divide? If so, let us know what you thought of it.