SURVIVOR: 1 STAR. “The only thing missing is a cameo from Dolph Lundgren.”
Recently a film director told me one way he rates movies. If he forgets what he has just seen by the time he hits the parking lot afterwards, the movie didn’t mean much.
“Survivor,” a new thriller starring Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott and Angela Bassett, is so generic you actually forget it while you’re in the theatre, still watching the movie.
Jovovich is Kate Abbott, an American State Department investigator stationed at the embassy in London. When she uncovers a terrorist plot involving “the world’s most wanted hitman” (Brosnan), a revenge hungry scientist (Roger Rees) and corrupt government figures she finds herself on the run. Dodging bullets and bombs she must figure out who she can trust and who is trying to frame her for a succession of deadly events.
“Survivor” is competent in the most damning of ways. It’s well shot—in focus even!—with passable performances from a crew of old pros and an mix of genre conventions blended together to form an international olio of intrigue. Capable and a bit lazy. “Survivor” is so basic in its approach it almost redefines what a b-movie can be. The only thing missing is a cameo from Dolph Lundgren.
From McDermott’s steely-jawed heroic speeches—“We’re doing this because we believe in an old fashioned idea of country!”—to the clock ticking down to doomsday to super evil bad guys with mysterious accents to airport anxiety and cheeseball dialogue—“The longer she lives, he more people die!”—“Survivor” plays like a greatest hits of every Roger Corman movie ever made.