The Divide (NR)

Drama 121 January 13, 2012
By Nick Pinkerton
A mushroom cloud blooms over Manhattan at the opening of The Divide. We see it reflected in the tearful eyes of the film's silent protagonist, Eva (Lauren German), who'll spend much of the subsequent movie watching and waiting. She and eight other building residents, including her French fiance, Sam (Ivan Gonzalez), manage to get to the basement before the building collapses on top of them. What follows is a lock-in that becomes increasingly squalid and feral as despair of rescue and cabin fever set in, and as a power struggle involving the survivalist super (Michael Biehn) and the young Turks (Milo Ventimiglia and Michael Eklund) who want into his hidden caches ensues. The allegorical signposts are everywhere in Karl Mueller and Eron Sheean's script: Everyone represents an ideal, but no one shows anything like carefully observed human behavior. The Divide is so busy mixing metaphors to explain our dog-eat-dog contemporary world that it never bothers filling out relationships beyond a thumbnail-sketch level. Missing the interrelationship foundations necessary to support suspense, director Xavier Gens's roving camerawork can do little to disguise slipshod craftsmanship. Neither intellectually nor viscerally engaging, what The Divide finally offers audiences is the not-terribly-edifying, stagnant experience of being locked in a basement with a pack of assholes.
Xavier Gens Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Biehn, Michael Eklund, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance, Iván González, Ashton Holmes, Jennifer Blanc, Peter Stormare Karl Mueller, Eron Sheean Anchor Bay Entertainment

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