Writer: S.A. Halewood (Screenplay)
Starring: Alison Doody, Linus Roache, Lotte Verbeek, Clarke Peters, Will Rothhaar, L. Scott Caldwell, Jamie Draven
Plot: 2039. Jails have been turned into online portals where the public gets to choose what prisoners eat, wear, watch and who they fight. So successful is Panopticon TV, it is about to be rolled out to a whole town, providing subscribers even more choice.
Tagline – Anonymity is freedom
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Interesting World Building
Story: Division 19 starts in the near future, in a world where prisoners are now being watched 24/7 by the public, almost become the celebrities of the new world, Hardin Jones (Draven) is one of the most popular in the system now, with Charles Lyndon (Roache) profiting of his exposure.
When Neilsen the mastermind behind the prisoner cameras brings up the idea of putting them in a fully operational town, Hardin is the first member of this society, giving his brother Nash (Rothhaar) the chance to break him out and expose the truth.
Thoughts on Division 19
Characters – Neilsen is thee mastermind behind the prisoner program, the program giving the public a chance to buy prisoners and give them material to do, control their action, she is ambitious and wants to continue to build the program to become bigger, a whole town. Charles Lyndon is the leader of the free world, he has been happy to use the prisoner program, but when he learns just how much suffering is going on in the real-world, he wants to make a change, listen to the young people’s request. Hardin is the most popular prisoner, he gets released into the town, where he ends up escaping the surveillance state the people are living in. Nash is the younger brother, one of the fighters for the next generation, he along with the others has a plan to force the government into making the world equal, until he gets caught.
Performances – Alison Doody in the authority business woman like lead role is strong, we know we need an actor that can demand power, she does this. Linus Roache is strong too in the role which is a government figure, trying to maintain control. Will Rothhaar and Jamie Draven as the brothers considered criminals both work well together and in their solo roles
Story – The story here follows us in the future where people are being watched and controlled, prisoners are not used for entertainment purposes, with the gap between rich and poor at a new high. We have seen this type of world created many times, which isn’t going to be hard to build this divide, where this story tries to be different is with the prisoners being used as marketing tools more than anything, they have elements of freedom, compared to a ‘Gamer’ or ‘Death Race’ where the prisoner is put through extreme death sports. We have a fight which is designed to end the gap between rich and poor, one that could easily make sense in this world. the story does blend together nicely to show both sides of the story with ease.
Action/Sci-fi – The action in the film is chase sequences which do work well without being the most edge of your seat. The sci-fi world created is wonderful though, showing the divide between the people.
Settings – The film is set in the near future, each setting works very well to show us the divide in the people.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are used in the limited function, but they help with the moments of the futuristic world.
Final Thoughts – This is a smart idea for a sci-fi film, it brings us a world that could happen and shows the greed involved in this world.
Overall: Smart Sci-fi world.