By: Trevor Jeffery
Using the words “unabashed” and “propaganda” together seems redundant, but there isn’t a better way to describe James McTeigue’s Survivor.
Kate Abbott (Mila Jovovich) is an officer with the US embassy in London. While on duty, Kate asks a few too many questions to a man she suspects to be (and actually is) a bio-terrorist, before letting him through customs. This sets him and his associates into freak-out mode, and they hire an elite hit man known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan) to take her out. From there, Kate becomes a most-wanted fugitive due to a series of misunderstandings and explosions that play out as if it were an episode of Fraiser starring Jack Bauer.
Overall, Survivor is a below-average film. It looks passable and some performances are fine, but it suffers from a poorly crafted story structure and no definitive stance on what it wants to be: too slow to be a thriller, but not interesting enough to be suspenseful. Ultimately, the film’s downfall is pacing. Even at 90 minutes, it’s bloated with filler. Though if you enjoy watching someone ride their motorcycle, park it, get off, walk up to the door, open it, walk through several hallways and rooms before arriving at the room in which the scene is set, then you’ll have fun with Survivor.
Including footage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and a title card before the credit roll that reads “Since 9/11 American law enforcement has stopped 53 terrorist acts in New York City alone”, Survivor can easily be passed off as Hollywood churning out anti-terror propaganda. That combined with slow pacing, phoned-in acting and an uninspired script makes Survivor easy to write off as unabashed propaganda.
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Trevor Jeffery: @TrevorSJeffery