Survivor Blu-ray review
On a roof, snipers watch as the team arrives. They namecheck everyone, making sure they’re all permitted on the grounds and into the building. The last to arrive (on a black motorcycle and in a matching black jacket, no less) is Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich, who recently appeared in the messy adaptation of Shakespeare’s CYMBELINE), the new security officer. The group’s job is to enforce strict rules on who is given access to a visa to enter the United States. The profession is especially serious to Kate, who, in unwarranted flashbacks, is revealed to have lost a number of friends on 9/11.
Shortly after denying access to a supposed doctor, a man known as “The Watchmaker” (Pierce Brosnan, Roger Donaldson’s THE NOVEMBER MAN) is informed about Kate’s keen eye. The Watchmaker is an expert in his field—no, not fake Rolexes, but rather bombs. And it’s one of The Watchmaker’s explosives that goes off while the team is out to dinner celebrating their superior, Bill’s (Robert Forster, 2013’s OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN), birthday. By complete convenience, Kate was out getting a gift and so was spared. In the streets, she calls for help, only to come across The Watchmaker, who aims a gun at her. But yet again, Kate is saved by luck and good timing. After this—and accidentally killing her boss and again encountering The Watchmaker—Kate goes into hiding. Meanwhile, the bombing is confirmed to also be linked to an attack in Paris two years prior.
Despite all of the gunfire, explosions and chases going on, SURVIVOR is a terribly unexciting movie. If characters aren’t running around, they’re staring at people running around. There are simply no thrills or emotions that audiences can latch to. Even the scene where Kate shoots Bill—intended to be one where so much is lost—only amounts to an aged actor clutching his side and collapsing near water. (There might be a moment where the viewer is fascinated by Brosnan playing a villain in a spy movie, but it’s been more than a dozen years since he put his Bond tux on the hanger and so the moment lasts about as long as the opening credits.)
Director James McTeigue (2006’s V FOR VENDETTA, 2012’s THE RAVEN) tries to throw in a few stylish elements, but he seems to be relying most on the cast (particularly Brosnan and Jovovich) to carry the movie and trick audiences into thinking it isn’t sloppy. (The screenplay is by first-timer Philip Shelby, who is slated to write the upcoming THE MECHANIC sequel.)
The supporting cast includes Dylan McDermott (Gabe Ibáñez’s AUTOMATA), Angela Bassett (who recently played Whitney Houston in the Lifetime biopic WHITNEY) and James D’Arcy (who currently plays Edwin Jarvis on ABC’s AGENT SHIELD).
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. Details are strong and colors are accurate throughout.
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. Subtitles in English and Spanish. The audio is quite nice, with clear dialogue and effective SFX.
Featurette (5:25): This standard piece uses interviews, on-set footage and clips to offer a general overview of the production and characters.
Deleted Scenes (10:39): There are five here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Bill’s Secret,” “Watchmaker’s Lab,” “Won’t Get Far That Way,” “Gas District” and “Road Kill.”