Nine strangers-all tenants of a New York high rise apartment-escape a nuclear attack by hiding out in the building's bunker-like basement. Trapped for days underground with no hope for rescue, and only unspeakable horrors awaiting them on the other side of the bunker door, the group begins to descend into madness, each turning on one another with physical and psycho-sexual torment. As supplies dwindle, and tensions flare, and they grow increasingly unhinged by their close quarters and hopelessness, each act against one another becomes more depraved than the next. While everyone in the bunker allows themselves to be overcome by desperation and lose their humanity, one survivor holds onto a thin chance for escape even with no promise of salvation on the outside.
Directed by: Xavier Gens
. Starring: Lauren German
, Michael Biehn
, Milo Ventimiglia
, Courtney B. Vance
, Ashton Holmes
, Rosanna Arquette
, Iván González
, Michael Eklund
, Abbey Thickson
, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn
. Music by: Jean-Pierre Taïeb
I felt a recurring complaint was that the characters actions were 'unrealistic' and the characters were so 'stupid' etc. To address both, take the simple scenario they open the movie with. A bunch of seemingly random 'groups' of people barreling down the stairs in a desperate and manic state trying to survive. In New York City. A select group ends up making it into this 'bunker'. Now, I surround myself with generally intellectual people, but if you think that taking a sample of 8 strangers from a random NYC building is going to yield a predominant output of good-hearted, intelligent people - then you're living in a damn bubble. News flash, there are impulsive sick f's everywhere you look, and equally important - sub ~90 IQ seems to be average these days.
Anyway, my point being, complaints about the unrealistic characters are completely unwarranted. If anything, the movie was probably a realistic depiction of ~8 random people in this situation. However, another group of 8 could yield an entirely different result. I think that's part of what the movie is trying to convey -- that getting stuck in a bunker during a post-apocalyptic scenario can potentially cause a Divide-esque situation. One person even mentioned that there weren't any 'enlightening' remarks or memorable quotes from the characters. No sht! This isn't Casablanca buddy, this is ~8 random people in a claustrophobic room dying of acute radiation poisoning and losing their minds while they're at it!
Now look, there were a few issues with the movie. I will admit there were a few scenes where the acting was lackluster and the situation was predictable. You may even roll your eyes once or twice. I was definitely disappointed with the fact that the movie didn't dive into more of the 'What's going on outside' story, but that's how the damn game goes! This movie wasn't about that subject, and as disappointing as it was, at least they gave us something! I mean seriously, most Sci-Fi or Post-apocalyptic movies these days are complete crap, and most would've cut to black after she exited the sewer (pun intended). It was a nice addition to have the guys drop on in with the HAZMAT suits and swoop the girl up. But that wasn't what the movie was about. The Lord of the Flies style deterioration (or decay - hah) of their bunker society was the focus, and I thought they did a damn good job of portraying an (again, potential) situation of this nature. My jaw dropped a few times and I was pleasantly surprised at how bold the writersdirector was with some of the 'sick-f' actions of Bobby and Josh. Props to Biehn, Ventimiglia, Arquette and Eklund for some generally awesome acting performances. The rest were solid too, and Lauren German.. Beautiful.
Most importantly: How many time's did you think about what you would do in this exact scenario? How you would break down, mentally and physically? Once your hair started falling out? ACCEPTING YOUR IMMANENT DEATH? Once the doors were welded shut and once the fire started? I'll just leave it at that.
I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic scenarios, so maybe I'm biased, but I liked this movie more than numerous other "highly rated" flicks I've seen in the past year or two. Take Hunger Games for example, raving reviews from the critics... I enjoyed The Divide more. And speaking of unrealistic, the Hunger Games epitomizes unrealistic. But I'm not even going to go there. If you're some avid Christian or bible thumping religious buffoon and can't handle some brutal potentially real life scenarios, then stay away! This movie is not for you. If you love happy-go-lucky teenage girl stories like Hunger Games or Twilight, please, stay away. (I'm not saying Hunger Games was horrible by any means, it was entertaining enough. I am only commenting on the massive influx of rave reviews for Hunger Games - whereas The Divide achieves an undeserving 5.8?!)
Although the scenario isn't exactly something new (people stuck in a room, losing their minds), it was a fresh take on it, and 10-fold more enjoyable than the 'competition'. The post-apocalyptic back story is a great back-bone to this scenario, and although I wish we found out more - like 90%+ of related movies these days - we are left in some uncomfortable ambiguity. But in the end, that doesn't take away from this movie.
Solid Flick, 810. 710 if Post-Apocalyptic scenarios aren't your thing at all.
Review by cope650 from the Internet Movie Database.