Survivor (2 stars)


Ropey thriller from James McTeigue featuring a comically awful Pierce Brosnan

There's a promising amount of talent both in front of and behind the camera for this cat-and-mouse thriller (including director James McTeigue and veteran producer Irwin Winkler), but the end result is extremely disappointing, due to laughably incoherent plotting, poor pacing and an amusingly terrible performance from Pierce Brosnan.

After a choppily directed prologue, the action moves to the US Embassy in London where newly-arrived security hotshot Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is tasked with flagging up suspicious visa applicants. When Kate investigates a dodgy-looking scientist (Roger Rees), she unwittingly stumbles into a plot to attack New York on New Year's Eve. The terrorists attempt to take her out by bombing a restaurant, but she escapes and finds herself framed for murder and on the run, pursued by the authorities (James D'Arcy's dogged police inspector), her suspicious colleague (Dylan McDermott) and a deadly assassin known as 'The Watchmaker' (Brosnan), who's working for the terrorists.

The initial set-up is nicely handled, but the action quickly degenerates into a string of lazily executed and painfully dull chase scenes that make good use of London locations, but fail to generate anything resembling suspense. These are further undermined by a nonsensical script that, amongst its many flaws, somehow allows wanted-by-everyone Kate to casually take a five-hour flight to New York in the middle of all the running about.

Jovovich makes an appealing lead, but the film completely wastes a talented supporting cast that includes the likes of Angela Bassett (as the US Ambassador) and Robert Forster (as Kate's boss). However, the film's worst element is Brosnan, conveying evil simply by scowling in every scene and continually popping up to menace Kate like a silver-haired, liver-spotted Terminator. If you make it through all this without falling asleep, consider yourself the survivor. In fact, they've missed a trick here by not providing 'I survived Survivor' t-shirts.

General release from Fri 5 Jun.


  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • US / UK
  • 1h 34min
  • 15
  • Directed by: James McTeigue
  • Written by: Philip Shelby
  • Cast: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson
  • UK release: 5 June 2015

Kate (Jovovich) is a security hotshot who finds herself framed for murder and on the run, pursued by the authorities and a deadly assassin (Brosnan). Jovovich is an appealing lead, but a talented supporting cast is wasted on dull chases and a nonsensical plot, while Brosnan is just amusingly terrible.