Combustible Celluloid
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With: Pierce Brosnan, Milla Jovovich, Dylan McDermott, James D'Arcy, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Benno Fürmann, Roger Rees, Frances de la Tour
Written by: Philip Shelby
Directed by: James McTeigue
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, some action and brief strong language
Running Time: 96
Date: 05/29/2015

Survivor (2015)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Cheese Visas

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Though it's refreshing to see a thriller with a strong female lead, Milla Jovovich's Kate Abbott in Survivor is frustrating; she's supposed to be savvy and highly trained but she makes every kind of rookie mistake. This kind of movie ought to be surprising, but instead, the viewer is always a jump ahead of her. We already know who not to trust, and where not to go, but Kate does all of it.

In the story, Foreign Service Officer Kate Abbott (Jovovich) is stationed at the U.S. embassy in London, hired to sniff out any potential terrorists trying to enter the country. Just as she thinks she's found one, her boss Bill Talbot (Robert Forster) takes over. Later, when her colleagues are killed in a restaurant bombing, she realizes that she was also a target. Soon a hired killer called The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan) is after her to finish the job. To make matters worse, when Bill also turns up dead, she gets the blame and finds herself at the center of a huge manhunt. Her only hope is to uncover the terrorists with the help of her trusted boss Sam Parker (Dylan McDermott) and stop them before they can strike.

Director James McTeigue has made solid movies before (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, The Raven), but Survivor feels second-rate, carelessly thrown together by all parties. Pierce Brosnan should have had a great role with his hired killer The Watchmaker, but his scenes are so flat and grim that it's difficult to have any fun with them. Images from and allusions to 9/11 add to the overall seriousness. But then the big showdown feels cut short as well as illogical.

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