Summed up in a sentence, Survivor is a really shit version of the successful television series’ Spooks and 24. Milla Jovovich plays Kate Abbott, a newly appointed Foreign Service Officer in London, who is targeted by the legendary hitman known as ‘The Watchmaker’, when she starts to investigate a potential terrorist attack in New York.
It’s a concept that’s been done a hundred times before, a million times better. From the very beginning of the film, which feels like a video game – complete with video game-type effects – it’s abundantly clear that Survivor would feel more at home on television than at the cinema.
Before we even see the film’s title, we’re treated to one of the many stereotypes that litter the film. Quicker than you can say ‘evil Islamist terrorist’, the clichéd characters just keep on coming. There’s the heroic all American hero soldier, the uptight British official, the evil Romanian scientist, the geeky computer guy, and even a sassy black woman.
Sure, they’re given quirks in an attempt to make the characters ‘cool’ – like making the lead hero ride a motorcycle and drink lots of Pepsi – but the attempts seem desperate, and ultimately cringe.
Perhaps the film could be forgiven for not having an original bone in its body, if it were at the very least exciting. However, apart from a great moment involving The Watchmaker – played by Pierce Brosnan, who seems to think he’s still James Bond – and some light bulbs, the action in Survivor is limited to just a lot of running around the streets of London.
The worst part about this whole sordid affair though, is that it has the audacity to try and act like it has some message about post 9/11 terrorism. Ending with a frankly baffling statement about how many attacks have been prevented since 9/11, Survivor isn’t as intelligent as it apparently thinks it is. It’s actually scaremongering, manipulative and stupid.
At its very best, Survivor is so awful that it borders on the hilarious. At its very worst though, it’s an unoriginal, tedious, and offensice watch that borders on the painful.
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