Film, Spies

Film: Survivor

November 29, 2015

survivorNo, not the inexplicably immortal reality series, nor the inflictors of “Eye of the Tiger” — Survivor (2015) is a paint-by-numbers thriller that plays out like watered-down, post-9/11 Hitchcock. In London, ace security office Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is in charge of vetting suspicious visa candidates preparing travel to the United States. Just as she’s sniffing out a suspicious pattern, though, her entire team is killed. By chance she survives the attack, but she’s mistaken for the primary suspect, and targeted both by the terrorists who tried to kill her and the authorities trying to clean up the mess. Only Kate can stop the next phase of the threat, but only if she can avoid her own people, and the chilly mercenary Nash (Pierce Brosnan) whose assassination attempt she survived.

Aside from a reasonably elegant structure and a game performance by the underrated Jovovich, there’s not much to recommend Survivor, a bland wrong-woman thriller with uninspired dialogue and prefab characters. Among the principle performers only Jovovich comes across at all lifelike, but her supposedly top-notch agent doesn’t live up to her billing. The rest of the cast — which includes the usually reliable Angela Bassett, James D’Arcy, and Robert Forster — comes off robotically, saddled with lifeless, cliché-filled dialogue. Ultimately, reasonable execution can’t save a shallow, derivative script.

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