A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
The inevitable DVD of "Divorce Corp" will make an ideal gift for anyone who's been through a painful, expensive split-up. Directed by Joseph Sorge, whose web site offers a tie-in book, it's billed as "A shocking exposé of the inner workings of the $50 billion a year U.S. family law industry" that "shines a bright light on the appalling waste, and shameless collusive practices seen daily in family courts."
Those intensifiers should tell you what you're in for. "Divorce Corp" is less a nuanced documentary than a cry of rage. It's easy to imagine people who've shelled out a small fortune during a contested divorce, with or without kids underfoot, watching this film while nodding their heads and muttering, "Amen. Stick it to 'em."
Although it sometimes wanders off the righteous path to recount a depressing or perverse anecdote at length—such as the tale of a ridiculously expensive child custody evaluator who bragged of drug use and unprotected group sex on Facebook—for the most part it's a stylistically bland work. "Divorce Corp" is directed and edited at roughly the same level of imagination as a network newsmagazine story: talking head, talking head, talking head, cut to a chart, exterior shot of a courthouse, cut to another chart, talking head, capped by a segue along the lines of, "And if you think that's shocking, wait'll you hear this."
Any wit it exhibits is of the slow-twisting-of-the-knife variety. A sequence that picks apart the undefined legal phrase "the best interest of the child" is scored to a section of "March of the Sugarplum Fairies." Animated re-creations of witnesses' stories contain odd moments of caricature, as when a faceless stick figure representing a child custody evaluator takes a parent's hard-earned money and bolts like a cartoon swindler trying to make the next train out of town.