Survivor (2015)

(Video on Demand, June 2015)  This hero-on-the-run thriller may not be particularly original, but it’s often on-point when it comes to execution.  Largely set in London, Survivor follows an intelligence analyst (Milla Jovovich, ably playing her usual action heroine persona) as she finds herself framed for a terrorist plot.  A great use of London locations helps sell the film, along with a decent number of recognizable actors including Pierce Brosnan unusually playing a straight-up villain.  The best thing about James McTeigue’s direction is that it generally remains within the realm of the plausible despite the often logic-defying leaps in the plot.  This helps explain why the film’s third act, when it abruptly shifts its action to New York, is a let-down: Not only does it break unity-of-setting, but it cranks the tension up to an artificial degree and does so artlessly.  After a conventional but well-handled rising of suspense, the last minutes of the film are just conventional.  Survivor is still not a bad film, but it could have been handled quite a bit better.

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