February 26, 2016

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“…an absurd film that would have done better by not taking itself so seriously…”


John Noonan
Year: 2015
Rating: M
Director: James McTeigue

Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan

Distributor: Roadshow
Released: December 16, 2016
Running Time: 96 minutes
Worth: $12.00

FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

…an absurd film that would have done better by not taking itself so seriously…

V For Vendetta director, James McTeigue, helms this spy thriller which sees Milla Jovovich as Kate Abbott, a Security Agent working for the US embassy in London, who becomes the target of a terrorist known as The Watchman (Pierce Brosnan). Having brought in stricter vetting processes, Kate is wanted by shadowy ne’er-do-wells who would like to see her six feet under…which is where The Watchmaker enters, setting up a bomb in a local restaurant that Kate is frequenting.

Surviving that initial blast, mainly through gratuitous good luck, Kate has to then make her way through the city to a secret rendezvous point set up by her agency for just such an occasion. Along the way, she uncovers a terrorist plot, which may involve members of her team. All the while, The Watchmaker closes in on her in an attempt to tidy up his loose ends.

More Salt than Bourne, Milla Jovovich is game enough as the story becomes crushed under its own logic. It’s Brosnan who has the most fun though, lapping up the opportunity to play the bad guy as he stalks Kate through the backstreets of London. Despite pitching its tent in a stoic post 9/11 landscape, Survivor is an absurd film that would have done better by not taking itself so seriously. Having survived the initial bombing, and following protocol that is reiterated several times by her colleagues to be the right thing to do, Kate is strangely eyed-up as a potential dirty agent. It’s the kind of premise that falls apart quickly when you realise that one phone call to say that she’s alright could solve all her problems. Where Survivor does pick up points is through not falling back on the stock stereotypes of all Middle Eastern people being terrorists. That doesn’t justify everything else though.

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