Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James McTeigue|
|Written by||Philip Shelby|
|Music by||Ilan Eshkeri|
|Edited by||Kate Baird|
Survivor is a 2015 British-American action spy thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by Philip Shelby. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Angela Bassett, Roger Rees, Antonia Thomas, James D'Arcy, Frances de la Tour, Genevieve O'Reilly, and Dylan McDermott.
Johnny Talbot (Paddy Wallace), an American soldier serving in Afghanistan, is captured by terrorists and forced to witness the execution of his comrade, Ray (Parker Sawyers).
Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is a Diplomatic Security Service agent working for the American Embassy in London, who began working in the government after most of her friends were killed in 9/11. While she is implementing new, more stringent rules for visa applications of potential terrorist suspects, most of her team are killed while at a restaurant for the birthday of their superior, Bill Talbot (Robert Forster). Bill is Johnny's father, and is being blackmailed under threat of Johnny's death. He is delayed attending the party when he returns to his desk to delete records of the visas he has approved for terrorists entering the United States. Kate survives the bombing when she leaves the restaurant to get a last-minute present for Bill.
An investigation into the attack reveals that the bomb has traces of chromium, leading her superior at the embassy, Sam Parker (Dylan McDermott), to deduce that the perpetrator was the 'Watchmaker' (Pierce Brosnan), one of the world's most wanted killers, known for his precision work, who detonated a bomb with similar traces in Paris two years earlier. Nobody knows the Watchmaker's appearance, as he has had lots of plastic surgery over the years. Kate's subsequent attempts to find out the cause of the explosion reveal that Bill was being blackmailed to let certain visa applicants through after Johnny's capture, and the man behind the attack was indeed the Watchmaker. Her efforts uncover a plan to detonate another bomb at Times Square in New York City during the New Year's Eve celebrations.
As she carries out her own investigation, she is attacked by Bill, unintentionally killing him in self-defense. She is later classified, through witnesses and footage, as a suspect for the attacks by the others at the embassy and even the British TV Network, forcing her to sneak back into the embassy to create false passports for herself to follow the Watchmaker to New York, with support from Sam and her friend Sally (Frances de la Tour), the only two people who believe in her innocence.
Meanwhile, the Watchmaker uses a Steyr HS .50 cal sniper rifle to fire an incendiary round into a sphere filled with explosive gas atop a vacant block of apartments in Tower Hamlets. The building is devastated. Later, the Watchmaker reveals that he is aware that his client's purpose for the Times Square attack is not terrorism but financial. He intends to bet against the stock market and make millions when the stock market reopens. The Watchmaker demands half the profits, threatening to cancel the attack, and the client agrees.
The Watchmaker leaves for New York. Dr Emil Balan (Roger Rees), is motivated to avenge his late wife's death when her visa to the U.S. was delayed and she didn't receive emergency medical treatment in time. In New York, he coordinates filling the New Year's Eve ball with explosive gas. The Watchmaker's job is to shoot the sphere and ignite the gas. Balan meets the Watchmaker on top of a high rise a few blocks from Times Square. The Watchmaker kills Balan, removing any connection back to him. Kate deduces the plot and finds the Watchmaker, moments away from triggering the bomb. After a struggle, she manages to throw the Watchmaker off the side of the building. He falls to his death on the stroke of midnight. Her suspicion about Balan is vindicated and her name is cleared. She receives a call from Sam, who has recovered from recent injuries, congratulating her.
The principal photography of the film Survivor began on January 20, 2014 in London. Shooting took place in London for five weeks before production moved to Sofia, Bulgaria for three weeks.Emma Thompson was cast and appeared in promotional material for the film, but she pulled out at the last minute.
Alchemy acquired the United States distribution rights to the film on March 20, 2015. The film was given a limited release and a video on demand release in the United States on May 29, 2015.Lionsgate released the film in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2015.
Although a rare positive review emerged--e.g., from the Daily Mail, and The National--Survivor received almost uniformly negative reviews from major reviewers, for instance, with only 32% of viewers and 9% of all critics giving positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes as of May 2018.IGN awarded Survivor 5 out of 10, saying "The film is particularly disappointing as McTeigue also directed V for Vendetta, a much sharper, much more intriguing, much more thought-provoking look at our post-9/11 world." As of September 2015, the film had a score 26 out of 100 from 11 critics on Metacritic, with the highest coming in from Roger Moore at Movie Nation and Peter Sobczynski of Roger Ebert (both at 50 points on a scale of 100).