Dave White
The Divide Review

Dave's Rating:

0.5

Multiplied by zero, still equals zero.

I almost feel sorry for this movie. It's about a group of New Yorkers fleeing the nuclear weapon-instigated end of the world and getting trapped in a confined space and turning on each other like animals. And it's filled with sensationalistic, "extreme" stuff like blunt violence, torture, rape and sexual degradation in an attempt to remind us all that it's a nasty world out there wherever you go. But mostly it's just an excuse for its actors to improv a lot of frenzied mugging and camera hogging while its director, Xavier Gens, the man responsible for the brutal French horror movie Frontiere(s), gets to feel like he's teaching us all a lesson about man's inhumanity to man. And whatever shock value it holds -- not much, by the way -- will be easily trumped by that horrible Internet video of "The Human Zoo" in India -- the one where real-life tribal people danced for tourists in exchange for food. You just can't beat the actual sick sad world for sheer sick sadness.

It stars the very cool Michael Biehn (Grindhouse, Aliens, The Terminator) as the superintendent of an apartment building with an extra large basement where some of its dubiously lucky residents (Milo Ventimiglia, Ashton Holmes, Courtney B. Vance) hole up after nuclear bombs decimate all of New York City. What's on the outside? Only death. What's on the inside? Also death. But not before several grueling appetizers of insanity, cruelty, more insanity, more cruelty, Rosanna Arquette wrapped in duct tape and turned into a rape-toy, sewage systems and rotting corpses are served up. Also along for the death-trip is Lauren German from Hostel II, doing what she does best in movies like this: playing the game to get out alive.

And thanks to a shift to the right from horror to nasty contemporary social commentary, whatever edge of fear and tension the movie might have possessed is traded for blistering annoyance as the cast near-cannibalizes one another while screeching at top volume for over 120 minutes.

And the point is... well, who knows. Maybe that it sure will be unpleasant when the world ends, or that your neighbors are not the people you'll want to spend your last days on earth dying of radiation poisoning with, or that a stockpile of canned food will only go so far, or that once you swim through the sewer, half-submerged in the dismembered body parts of that guy next door who used to play his Tom Petty records way too loud, you'll still be out of luck.

You know, come to think of it, I guess I don't feel that sorry for this movie at all. It's dumb.

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