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Review: DIVERGE (2016)

Going into the past to change the future. It’s an old plot device to be sure, but one that can be played out so many different ways. With his first feature film, DIVERGE, James Morrison goes for a slow, thoughtful approach with a lot to say about personal responsibility and corporate greed.

Chris (Ivan Sandomire) roams the post-apocalyptic wasteland caring for his wife Anna (Erin Cunningham) who suffers from the disease that wiped out most of humanity. He’s given a chance to not only save her, but all of humanity. But it means travelling into the past to confront the man responsible for the plague’s spread, himself.

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At its, core, DIVERGE is “equal parts science fiction and morality tale, DIVERGE tells the story of how the choices of one can have dire consequences for all.” It’s also about redemption, sacrifice and the greed of pharmaceutical companies that put profits ahead of human lives. It’s a serious film filled with heavy questions and ideas that will leave you asking questions of your own.

It’s something like a more cerebral version of 12 MONKEYS in some ways, but without the big budget or stellar cast. It does have some striking scenes of the desolate world, with an abandoned city smoldering in the background. It also has a talented cast that includes some familiar faces if not familiar names. The closest to a star the film has is Andrew Sensenig (UPSTREAM COLOR, DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT 2), he’s a great actor but far from a household name. Thankfully, what they lack in name recognition and credits, they make up for with talent.

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DIVERGE did well on the festival scene and it deserved its awards. It’s a solid film that uses its time travel gimmick in service of a well thought out and at times challenging script. Those who like films that ask more questions than they answer will like this one.

Gravitas Ventures will release DIVERGE to VOD and iTunes February 6th.

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