Division 19 is a science fiction/thriller written and directed by S.A. Halewood and set in an apocalyptic future where prisons have been turned into online entertainment. Subtribes to the system vote on what felons can eat, watch, wear and who they fight in the prison. However, when the world’s most watched felon escapes, the authorities scramble to bring back their most valuable asset for the grand opening of their new prison system.
Division 19 stars in the leading roles Linus Roache, from 2018’s brutally brilliant Mandy, and Alison Doody, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. These two are far and beyond the best part of the entire film. Both of the characters they portray are very believable in their attempts to capture the escaped convict, Hardin Jones. Unfortunately, the movie fails in most other aspects of basic film making.
Directing, editing, and story are some of the main pillars needed to build a great film – and Division 19 lacks all three.
In the opening scenes the audience is exposed to repeated recycled shots, jumbled together into an attempt to create a “ thrilling” rooftop action sequence. While this is a very low budge independent film, and recycled shots are a great way to cut costs, it can’t be at the expense of the story. It makes no story telling sense to see the characters jumping from the same rooftop over and over again while expecting the audience to believe that they are progressing through an entire city district. And this style of editing and directing are littered throughout the entire story. Crippling any hope of gaining any entertainment from this film.
Based on the editing choices alone the film expects the audience to suspend disbelief on everything, yet still be able to follow the movie. There are so many times where a character goes from one setting of a city to another without any explanation of how they got there, and the story suffers tremendously from it, and that’s too bad because there are glimmers of a great script in this movie.
In summary, Division 19 has two great acting performances, the faintest whiff of a good script, and cripplingly bad direction and editing – some of the worst seen this year.
I have to give Division 19 a 2/10.
Division 19 is released into select theaters and streaming on demand on April 5 – will you be seeing the film? If you have seen it, what are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s make a discussion out of it.