So, Survivor is a movie that seems to have had a casting director friends with the one for Olympus has Fallen. Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett and Robert Forster who all starred in that movie star in this one too. It opens up with a boy named Johnny Talbot who is captured and killed while working in Afghanistan. (If only American Sniper had a scene like that.) And introduces Katherine Abbott, a highly educated government women whose job it is to approve or decline passports for potential terrorist threats at the Embassy. Why? Well, there was 9/11. And after an incident with forgery proof of a passport with no watermark, a big set of terrorists realize that they can't forge Visas and these people looking for them know that Neeral Franks specialized in combustible gas munitions. Abbott brings most of this to the table and is the one in charge of any suspicious activity her co-workers may catch. Then one day she comes across this one man,Emil Balan, played by Roger Rees (which was his last performance.) He has pharmaceutical gases as his specialty and Abbott's friend Bill seemed to have it approved no charge. Abbott feels something is wrong and is enough to get an expertise on chromium and killings, The Watchmaker, played by Brosnan. The chase is on.
What I automatically admired about this movie is how it seems to know about the terrorism business without ever making us lost. Brosnan's character seems to have all this amazing machinery and the guy to make good forgeries. I learned recently that sometimes, police can look at people's emails sometimes if one gets sent out with something funny said on it. Well, at least this scene in his labaratory shows that some of the bad guys have some tricks of their own. Abbott is given some complaints about not approving Visas even when she's trying to do the right thing, and that isn't that far-fetch'd. There have been several lineups I've been in where people scan you too much or cops take up their power and I can understand how complaints can file up and people can use that to their advantage. And we completely agree with the actual good guy this time, the one trying to stop a terrorist act, and a very believable performance from Jovovich in the process.
To make a movie like this work, you need to have likeable characters doing the detective work and bad characters doing the terrorist work and in another director's shoes, the blackmail aspect of the movie could've gotten more detail that may have forced some of us to root for the bad guys getting away with something even worse than the Boston Marathon bombing, or perhaps even 9/11. Perhaps. Thankfully, it doesn't. Thankfully, a movie with guns on it is showing that what it's supposed to do is entertain you with them and it does so in spades.
This is the sort of movie where you feel anything could happen at any moment and you are always on your feet. Survivor is amazing because I don't think Milla Jovovich has never been better, Pierce Brosnan has never been more sinister, it understands how terrorists can take advantage of operations, and you really feel for Abbott who could actually get captured. There may be a few times when it seems Jovovich is completely bulletproof, but what is this movie called for.