Possible spoilers ahead!
I try to keep up with current movies in general, not just the blockbusters. But there’s only so much time in the day, and many movies will slip past me. That’s exactly what happened here, and if it hadn’t been for my favorite sidekick Laneit, I probably wouldn’t have ever known about a little movie called “Survivor.”
In the film from director James McTeigue, star Milla Jovovich plays Kate Abbott, a highly rated Foreign Service Officer. Kate has just been appointed to the U.S. Embassy in London to help troubleshoot visa applicants for suspected terrorists trying to get into the U.S.
When a man comes in for a visa, all sorts of red flags go up, but her immediate supervisor (Robert Forster) tells her to drop her suspicions and approve the visa. But Kate won’t let the matter go, and when she tries to investigate further, she runs afoul of both a British inspector (James D’Arcy) and the U.S. Ambassador (Angela Bassett).
Kate of course, knows she is on to something, but little does she know that a top-notch assassin known only as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan) has been brought in to take her out. Although his attempt to kill her faisl, his effort takes out a restaurant and nearly all of Karen’s colleagues die in the explosion.
Luckily, Kate survives the attack, but when she runs from The Watchmaker, and the scene, it makes her look responsible for the restaurant bombing.
With the British cops, U.S. agents and the relentless Watchmaker on her trail, Karen tries, with some help from only two colleagues she still trusts (Dylan McDermott and Frances de la Tour), to evade capture while trying to figure out what the terrorists are trying to accomplish.
While the plot of “Survivor” may not be very original, I still thought this movie was damn good. Basically, “Survivor” is a smaller-scale international thriller that is not trying to blow viewers away with over-the-top CGI or action sequences every ten minutes.
This movie is more of an old school spy drama, and the action sequences look and feel real. And I for one, enjoyed that very much.
The best thing about “Survivor” are the performances from Milla Jovovich and Pierce Brosnan in the lead roles. Jovovich has proves through her “Resident Evil” films, that she can handle action. But in a welcomed change of pace, Jovovich plays her role here not as some scantily clad super-babe, but as a realistic person caught in an insane situation and trying to use her brains to figure things out instead of simply kicking everyone’s ass. That said, she does get ample opportunities to show that she can defend herself.
Last year I said Pierce Brosnan delivered his best Bond movie with “The November Man.” This year, Brosnan delivered his best acting performance in years. Pierce Brosnan is cooly effective as a ruthlessly efficient killer in this movie.
He doesn’t say a whole lot in “Survivor,” but when he does, you have to pay attention. Pierce Brosnan is rather good at playing the villain, and I hope he keeps doing it in future films. Perhaps in a future DC or Marvel movie?
In the end, “Survivor” doesn’t compare to other big name spy movies out there, I’ll admit that. But what this movie lacks in budget, it more than makes up with excellent performances not just from the leads, but from the entire cast as well.
“Survivor” final score: 8