Survivor (2015)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/13/16
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster

An underwhelming action thriller that plays the 9/11 sympathy card a little too heavily. Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is an exceptional security service agent who ends up targeted for assassination when she starts investigating a potential terrorist attack. A ruthless killer known as The Watchmaker (gritty Pierce Brosnan) relentlessly chases Kate throughout the entire film, but she somehow manages to keep getting away. Of course, the longer she runs, the more crimes she's implicated in, which brings the local police, the US Embassy, and the British Ministry of Defense in on the chase. Everything ultimately leads to a bomb plot in Times Square on New Year's Eve, and only Kate can prevent a million people from getting killed. Or at least that's what we're told. Can Times Square really accommodate a million people? Once the threat is neutralized and all of the bad guys are dead, everyone accepts Kate's story that she's innocent and that everything was just a big misunderstanding.

Naturally, the only reason to watch this is to see Milla Jovovich doing what she does best, which is embodying a strong female action character. However, this time she's a "woman in a suit" as she puts it, which brings a certain everywoman aspect and vulnerability to Kate's character. She's not an especially good fighter, but she has sharp wits and a keen survival instinct. She's delightful to watch, and even though the film downplays her natural beauty, her charm and intensity dominate every scene. A mean and craggy looking Pierce Brosnan makes a good villain, and he wears an unwavering scowl of disdain through the whole film. Kate spends a great deal of time running, hiding, and being scared, but the cat-and-mouse routine becomes tiresome after a while and you really just want to see her fight back. It's a long time coming, but the payoff is pretty satisfying. The pacing is fairly brisk, but the writing is tedious and the forced sentimentality leaves a bad taste. Mediocre action fare at best, but female action fans should find it enjoyable.