Directed by Xavier Gens
Starring Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Biehn
Next time, choose better bunk mates for your post-apocalyptic fallout shelter.
Running from nuclear attacks, apartment tenants fun for dear life to their 9/11-obsessedd superintendent Mickey’s bomb shelter. Too bad he’s not keen on the company.
I reviewed an advance copy of this film on CineGeek a few months ago. As far as I can tell, this final release hasn’t been changed, and given how little time has passed, my opinion hasn’t really either.
This film covers these random, mostly unconnected neighbors as they try to survive alone and isolated from the world, and then eventually survive each other. It’s an examination of the mental and physical breakdown of all of these characters, and it does a great job exploring the depths they fall.
These characters suffer from hunger, thirst, low oxygen, radiation poisoning, and a severe case of cabin fever. And they don’t generally get along, which only gets worse and worse. When they all snap, they all go in very different directions, yet logical for their characters. Some go psychotic and terrifying. Some break down and become submissive and meek. The cast does a great job making these transformations believable, making sure that even at their most inhuman that there’s still some humanity to these characters.
The film has a problem keeping track of time with the film’s pacing. An off-hand remark refers to weeks having gone by, and with the physical deterioration, that seems likely. However, and despite its two-hour run time, it feels like less time actually passes. This makes some of the character development seem rushed.
This is a long movie, and it’s not easy. The characters do some gross and even despicable things. But it’s an intriguing character study if you can make it through. The pay off won’t be cheery, but it’ll be fulfilling.
The film is presented in 1080p 2.35:1 widescreen. Compared to early screeners, the video is a lot crisper and cleaner. With some of the subtle physical changes – from thinning, hair loss, wrinkling and so on – the added detail definitely adds a needed touch.
The Blu-Ray comes with English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, with French 5.1 and Spanish mono (we see who got the short end of that audio stick). The audio comes through fine and clear, but there’s nothing remarkable about it.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This release is pretty bare bones in terms of extras – only the film trailer and audio commentary with director Xavier Gens and actors Michael Biehn (Mickey), Michael Eklund (Bobby) and Milo Ventimiglia (Josh). Also included is a DVD version of the film, with the same features.
The commentary adds some good insight to the production, such as the filming done sequentially, as well as the improvisation of the cast. There does seem to be a slight delay at times on what they’re commenting on, so that’s a bit disconcerting. Also weird, the director even refers to a “making-of” at one point in the commentary, but obviously that wasn’t added on this set.
Overall (Not an Average)
The Divide is a worthwhile film if you want to see some of the worst of humanity brought out. It’s a good insight into being trapped with one another will cause people to become. The set is pretty no-thrills, and it’s not a must own, but it’s worth checking out.
The Film 7.5/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 6/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 6/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10