Blu-ray Review: Survivor


Just about everyone loves a great movie. Some people enjoy movies that are so bad they’re good. But what about those movies that are neither bad nor good? They just seem to exist yet add nothing to the long rich history of cinema. What are we supposed to do with those films? That’s what I kept thinking about while watching Survivor.

Like I said above, Survivor awkwardly falls somewhere between good and bad. The production quality is solid, it looks and sounds like a good movie. The cast is solid too: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett, and Robert Forester. None of them amazing actors, but certainly good at what they do. So there is no problems there.

The problems some from the story and the script. The story is about as blad as they come. Bad Ass US Agent (Jovovich) is working in London. She stumbles across a possible terrorist threat and pisses off the wrong people, so they hire a bad ass assassin (Brosnan) to take her out. Soon everyone believes that she is the person behind a terrorist bombing and is wanted for murder. The only only one that believes her is her boss and secret lover (McDermott). I was even happy to see James D’Arcy (Jarvis from the TV series Agent Carter) as the British agent trying to bring her in.

It has all the ingredients of a perfectly harmless, generic action – cat and mouse – spy thriller. Jovovich is trying to catch the real terrorists and stop their plot while avoiding the British police and the bad ass assassin. It gets some decent suspense going as it builds towards it’s conclusion, but like the rest of the film, that is very predictable.

That’s not to say this is a bad movie. I’ve seen a lot of bad movies, and this is far from it. However, I think because it falls in that awkward in between state between bad and good it almost makes it worse. At least movies that are really bad have a certain entertainment value to those who like that kind of thing. This film just comes off as boring and predictable.

With the cast this film has, the acting is perfectly fine across the board. Everyone does a good job; no one mucks it up by over acting or anything like that. That said, there are quite a few moments of bad dialog that make you roll your eyes. And I’m not even talking bad action one liners, though Jovovich does have one of those at the very end, I’m just talking about boring, uninteresting dialog that doesn’t do much to move the movie forward.

Basically, I think there is the potential for a decent movie hiding in here somewhere. Maybe if they run through a few more drafts of the script they could have tightened it up and it half way enjoyable. Though, based on the making of featurette, it sounds like they had several years to work on the script, so it certainly should have been better than it was.

If you’re a big fan of one of the actors in this film, you might want to check it out, it’s not so bad that you’ll feel like you wasted your time. Other than that, however, I’m hard pressed to find a reason to recommend this film to anyone.

The film is presented in 2.40:1 and Dolby True HD. Like I said above, this is a good looking and sounding film. Nothing to complain about on the technical front.

You get the a featurette (5 min.) that is a very typical making of. There also a couple deleted scenes (9 min.) that don’t add much to the story, though there is a steam make out scene between Jovovich and McDermott.

James McTeigue directed V for Vendetta, which I enjoyed a lot, so I was surprised to see how milquetoast this movie was. With the talent in front and behind the camera, this movie should have been at the very least, a little better than it was.

Alchemy presents Survivor. Written by Philip Shelby. Directed by: James McTeigue. Starring: Milla Jovovich, Dylan McDermott, Pierce Brosnan, Angela Basset and Robert Forester. Running time: 96 min. Rating: PG-13. Released on DVD: June 23, 2015.

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