Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Eklund, Ashton Holmes, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance, Iv�n Gonz�lez, Abbey Thickson, Jennifer Blanc
Written by: Karl Mueller, Eron Sheean
Directed by: Xavier Gens
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 122
Date: 03/13/2011
IMDB

The Divide (2012)

1 Star (out of 4)

Basement Whacks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Though nuclear holocaust movies are a grim, depressing genre, it's certainly possible to make good movies in it, like The Road or The Book of Eli. The Divide, however, aims for a dark, cutthroat tone, focusing on exploitation elements, but without the thrills that are usually involved. The result is both extremely dismal and extremely uncomfortable.

As a nuclear bomb drops, a band of humans race down to the basement of an apartment building, where the super, Mickey (Michael Biehn), has prepared a stockpile of food and survival tools. At first they hope for survival, but instead they get an attack by men in radiation suits, who kidnap a little girl. After that, the group falls apart, slowly turning on one another and slipping into degradation, chaos, and violent struggles for power. Only one among them, Eva (Lauren German) seems to have enough heart to survive.

The characters consist of a bunch of types that are easily manipulated into conflict without much challenge or depth. Only Rosanna Arquette as a grieving mother seems to go the extra mile. Director Xavier Gens lets his camera restlessly roam the basement corridors without much else to do, and the effect is like pacing; it's tense, but in a bad way. Finally, at 122 minutes, the movie is needlessly, relentlessly, torturously long. Avoid this at all costs. 

Anchor Bay released the Blu-Ray. It comes with an audio commentary track with director Gens, and actors Biehn, Michael Eklund, and Milo Ventimiglia, which is at least more fun than the movie itself. It also features trailers for this and other releases. Quality is fine, but the movie looks so gray and depressing that it doesn't matter much.

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