…is a classic “wrong man” movie – a wrongly-accused hero, generally being chased and/or shot at for most of the movie – Hitchcock made a number of them.
This particular genre of suspenser is hard to bring off successfully, as it requires the actor, director and writer(s) to develop a central character with whom ALL audience members will empathise, regardless of their individual personalities – and sexes.
In the case of “Survivor” the sex is female; Milla Jovovich. Athough many release posters suggest the psychotic hitman who spends most of the film chasing and shooting at her – Pierce Brosnan – is actually the central character. I wonder why – NOT.
But apart from a minor editing screwup in the final dénouement (which I cannot describe, as it will constitute a “spoiler”) this was the only cloud over a hugely entertaining film.
Although if you read the critiques – both professional and amateur – of this piece, you could be forgiven for thinking it a major turkey. Which it certainly is not. Perhaps a diet of comic-book movies has softened the brains of said critics.
However, I must mention a CURIOUS thing about this film – its GROSS.
After more than half-an-hour of exhaustive research on the Interweb, I could NOT find the movie’s “domestic” (American) or most of the Rest Of The World’s BOX-OFFICE (half of which ends up as the net).
All I know is that despite most of the film being shot in London (by whom gawdnose – the film’s credits gloss OVER those details) with exteriors in New York and interiors in Bulgaria, the budget was surprisingly small for such a production – just 20 million USD.
And that it took half a mill in China, a few grand elsewhere and a couple of mill from DVDs, TV and so on. In fact, I myself saw it on HBO, screened just six months after its theatrical release.
But of its all-important US and UK gross, I could find ZIP (and believe me, I tried). Those figures are being kept as secret as the formula for Coke.
The only clue came from Wiki, who said the movie had been released in both markets – but in The States, only as a LIMITED release. HOW limited? Five hundred screens? Just FIVE? We do not know.
Furthermore, after the critical mauling it received, it appears to have had NO backing from its distributors.
Which is sad, because an INVOLVING film like “Survivor” is RARE these days, in a business now geared primarily for mindless CGI blockbusters for KIDS.
Also sad is the fact that Welsh actor Roger Rees made this film while suffering from brain cancer – he died shortly after.
I am only glad that I discovered all of the above AFTER I had watched this EXCELLENT film. Catch it if you can.