Survivor

"Good"

Survivor Review


Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies by creating characters and action situations that are unusually believable, even if the plot itself feels badly undercooked. The problem is that there isn't a clear sense of what's at stake here, because screenwriter Philip Shelby insists on continually blurring the mystery by withholding key details until he's ready to reveal them. So the cleverly played old-style suspense never quite pays off.

It opens at the US Embassy in London, where new security chief Kate (Milla Jovovich) has been alerted to the fact that terrorists are trying to get visas to enter America. Working with the ambassador (Angela Bassett) her team leaders (Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster), Kate narrows in on a suspicious doctor (Roger Rees) who's an expert in explosive gasses. But a shocking bombing stops her short, framing her as the villain. Now she's being chased not only by the Americans, but also a British inspector (James D'Arcy) and a ruthless assassin known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan). And Kate knows that she's the only one who can stop the nefarious plot, whatever it might be.

This is one of those films that enjoyably pushes its central character over the brink, so we can't help but root for Kate to get out of this seriously messy situation and save the day. Jovovich plays her in a plausible way as a capable woman who has no choice but to fight back and try to survive, because she's the only one who knows that she's not the real threat here. Everyone else is extremely shadowy, although McDermott gets to show a heroic side, as does the terrific Frances de la Tour as the only embassy staff member who believes that Kate is the good guy. Meanwhile, Brosnan gives a remarkably effective performance as a cold-blooded killer.

With all of these strong characters, it's frustrating that the screenwriter works so hard at withholding key bits of information from the audience. This means that we're never drawn into the excitement, watching from a detached distance and waiting for details to emerge that will make it all add up to something exciting. Alas, this happens too late in the game and is accompanied by a corny (and irrelevant) comment on the triumphs of American counterterrorism efforts. Even so, director James McTeigue does a great job at giving the action a credible human scale, with a strong central heroine and earthy fight scenes that feel dangerous rather than choreographed. Yet when one character ominously says, "Something about this just doesn't add up," we couldn't agree more.

Watch the trailer for Survivor here:



Survivor

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 60 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th June 2015

Production compaines: Survivor Productions, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films, Winkler Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Matt O'Toole,

Starring: as Kate Abbott, as Nash, as Sam Parker, as Maureen Cranepaul, as Bill Talbot, as Paul Anderson, as Dr. Emil Balan, Genevieve O'Reilly as Lisa Carr, as Sally, Sonya Cassidy as Helen, as Naomi Rosenbaum, as Alvin Murdock, Rege-Jean Page as Robert Purvell, as Joyce Su, as Zafer Pavlou, Paddy Wallace as Johnny Talbot, Parker Sawyers as Ray

Contactmusic

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