YAY Earth! Thanks for having us! I could do without those storms and tornadoes you send our way every spring but hey, thanks again! I hope we don’t continue to fuck things up for you. Speaking of fucking up our planet, if you ever needed a reminder that we have a nice place to live look no further than the incredibly bleak and somewhat depraved The Divide:
THE DIVIDE (2011) FOUR TOP HATS
Looking at that poster the tone should be set that New York is getting nuked and we follow a group of people into a basement / fallout shelter in the bottom of an apartment building – and watch how they slowly go insane and well, make no mistake, things get very, very, very bad down there. When I first saw this pop up I was sold when I saw the words “Michael Biehn” set as one of the leads, then I got more excited when I saw “Lauren German” and I still like Milo Ventimiglia and will always have a place at the table for Rosanna Arquette (dear lord what did she do to deserve what she gets in this movie???), but I was even more into this when I saw this was directed by Xavier Gens – the guy behind the bloodiest movie I can remember – Frontier(s). Kind of like that movie – this movie gets pretty fucking tough to watch, but thinking about it and the scope of the whole thing, I really liked it. The acting is fantastic, the imagery is killer, the set and design are wicked and the violin-y score really worked very effectively to help set the grim, depressing tone. With that said, I think the thing that made me like this so much is that it constantly reminded me of how good a life I have and that even when sometimes things get troubling – I’ve got it good. There you go – watch it your own risk, but I liked it.
To open, the nukes start to fall on New York City and everyone scrambles to get out of the apartment building while a lucky few make it into the basement where the superintendent lives – retired and bitter 09/11 firefighter Mickey (Biehn) who’s been planning for this moment since his wife died in the Twin Towers attack. He’s mean , he’s foul and he’s the man in command as everyone tries to figure out what’s going on and how they’re going to survive (I heart Michael Biehn). Also down there is German and her weak and wimpy French husband, Arquette and her daughter, Courtney B Vance,
Peter Petrelli Ventimiglia (channeling his best Pathology toughness) his brother (Ashton Holmes) and a dude named Michael Eklund who will likely gain some sort of “cultish” something or other as Bobby.
After the initial shock is over Mickey announces what’s what and that he’s in charge of the supplies, there’s some initial grumblings and general “oh pleeeeease, no one would really act like that in this situation” type of shit and then some people in some sort of biohazard armor bust through the door and everything goes very bad from there on out. When I say bad – basically everyone except for German’s character goes apeshit and there’s radiation poisoning, depraved sex, fingers cut off, bodies chopped up, brains, blood everywhere and even a trip down into the septic system that I figured was going to be really disgusting but it wasn’t as bad as they could have made it. Another mistake not to make here: this is not a happy movie and there is no happy ending. But the ending – the montage and the music – I actually watched it three times I liked it so much. For real.
There will probably be a huge divide between the people that watch The Divide – those that think it’s really good (like me) and those that aren’t prepared for a realistic look at how people will devolve and transform into maniacs when put in this type of position. Sure there were a couple of things I thought that could have been left out but, oh well.
Happy Earth Day! I do not heart the thought of nuclear war.