I didn’t really know what Divinity was about when I walked in, and I knew even less when I walked out. This is the strangest movie I’ve ever seen in a theater. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to take drugs before you see it. The film lacks conventional plot and characterization, instead taking a hallucinatory approach. Director Eddie Alcazar shoots in black-and-white. Not a beautiful black-and-white, but a stark, stylishly ugly black-and-white. Everything takes place in a supposedly futuristic world where all the computer equipment comes from the ‘80s.
Maybe an explanation is not the way to go here. If you’re unfamiliar with the film, by all means take a minute to look at the trailer, which offers a pretty accurate representation of how Divinity plays:
So what is this thing about? There’s a deceased scientist (Scott Bakula) who invented a serum designed to help people achieve immortality. His son (Stephen Dorff) has abused it, creating a society full of people who walk around being young and sexy all the time. Two space dudes (Moises Arias and Jason Genao) arrive to kidnap him because they don’t like the effects of the serum, I guess. They’re visited by a hooker (Karrueche Tran) because…well, why not? Bella Thorne plays a leader from another dimension (?) who oversees a cadre of women looking for other women.
That’s as far as I can go. In look and tone, Divinity tries a bit too hard to be a modern version of David Lynch’s Eraserhead. During the last 20 minutes, there is sort of a justification for the events we’ve been watching. It’s followed by a stop-motion animated fight scene designed to look like a battle from an anime. Alrighty then. The movie additionally boasts two extremely graphic sex scenes and a fake TV commercial for a gizmo that resembles a dildo as designed by John Kramer from the Saw franchise.
Alcazar seems to be trying to comment on our culture’s obsession with youth and beauty. Or maybe he just wants to be weird. Hard to say. Divinity is mildly pretentious and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s not exactly boring either. The bizarre visuals have a hypnotic effect that’s accentuated from being seen on a giant cinema screen. Guessing where the movie will go from minute to minute is impossible. You’ve gotta hand it to Alcazar – he takes an admirably big swing.
I didn’t get much out of Divinity in a traditional sense. As an experimental work, it at least held my interest. Would I recommend it? [Insert shrug emoji]
out of four
Divinity is unrated, but contains strong language, violence, and graphic sex/nudity. The running time is 1 hour and 28 minutes.