Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Written by: David Bourla
Starring: Camilla Belle, Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans
Run-Time: 1h 51m
Genre: Science-Fiction Thriller
Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Two young Americans with special abilities must race to find a girl in Hong Kong before a shadowy government organization called the Division does. (IMDb)
While idly searching through Hulu, I came across this film and almost immediately remembered watching it many times when I was younger. It has been many years since I’ve seen it, but I remember it fondly. After re-watching it recently, I had one of those moments where I look back at younger me and wonder what the heck was going on!
This film definitely takes a stylistic approach to its cinematography that works in its favour. Through camera work and editing, the film’s tone is established early on, and the film’s intention is evident. You can see what they were trying to do, which is part of what makes it so sad that they struggle to follow through. For me, this was the primary aspect of the film that allowed me to sit through it in its entirety. This film heavily relies on its cinematography with lacklustre acting and poor writing.
The writing in this film is not entirely horrendous but is nowhere near good. The film is a mish-mash of ideas that are related enough that they could be done together but only with the right writers up to the task. The concept is excellent but poorly executed.
The thing that really tanks this film for me is that it doesn’t feel done. And it doesn’t feel done because it isn’t. You can blatantly tell there were intentions of making a sequel that never came to fruition. Sadly, the creators relied too heavily on the thought that this film would be a success; this choice actually played a considerable role in the film’s failure. You’re left with so many loose ends at the film’s end that you can’t even say the movie has a proper ending. At best, we just got the first half of a painstakingly long film.
While this film is watchable, I think there are better ways to spend your time. I will probably stick to the reading if you are a fan of the comics from which it is based.