Director: James McTeigue (2015)
This tedious terrorist thriller is a po-faced celebration of the secret security services trying to masquerade as entertainment.
It has unintentionally ridiculous dialogue, enormous plot-holes, little tension and no humour.
Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is the new security chief of the American Embassy in London. She’s in charge of the young team who process visa applications to the US.
She spends a huge amount of time running down corridors and may be having a relationship with her boss Sam (Dylan McDermott).
Following a bomb attack on a restaurant, Abbott follows Embassy safety protocol and immediately goes to a pub toilet to check on her hair. Not being British she doesn’t even stop for a drink.
Abbott realises being the only survivor of the blast makes her a suspect.
When a colleague is murdered Abbott goes to the top of the most wanted list and even her own Ambassador (Angela Bassett) wants her taken out.
No-one in the myriad intelligence services thinks to stake out Abbott’s flash apartment.
As Abbott’s colleague Sally, actress Frances de la Tour does well not to look embarrassed at events. James D’Arcy plays Police Inspector Paul Anderson, a stiff-assed Brit.
The film emphasises the extensive use of CCTV in the the UK’s capital but doesn’t pursue the idea.
Meanwhile an even bigger atrocity being planned by a munitions expert known as ‘The Watchmaker’ (Pierce Brosnan).
He is steely-eyed, silver haired and occasionally sports a moustache. Playing a terrorist at large in London recalls Brosnan’s brief role in The Long Good Friday (1980), back when the Irishman appeared in great films.
Danny Ruhlmann’s cinematography casts rich shadows and is the best feature of the movie. It creates a suitably menacing environment not matched by the plotting, pace or performances.
As Survivor is set in December – there are Christmas trees and everything – the decision by the distribution company to release it in June suggests a fear of finding an audience for it.