On our list of Zen Imponderables are the following:
“A thing isn’t necessarily a lie even if it didn’t necessarily happen.” (John Steinbeck)
“If a man speaks in the forest and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?” (Maura O’Connell)
“A bad movie can be good time.” (Alexander Hamilton)
Case in point: “Survivor.” This is not the hugely popular reality TV show of the same name. This is a regular, 96-minute movie complete with movie stars, however faded. Unlike the reality TV series, it was not hugely popular. It was not even slightly popular. In fact, you have never heard of it, have you?
The plot could be written on the back of a small napkin and probably was. But the actors are old friends who make for good company. Pierce Brosnan is the icy assassin, Milla Jovovich is the conscientious American Foreign Service officer, Dylan McDermott is the embassy man who stands by her when she’s framed, Robert Forster is Milla’s very compromised boss and Angela Bassett is the very hot United States ambassador to Great Britain.
This is the breathless story of Kate Abbott (Jovovich), a counter-terrorism officer newly posted to the U.S. Embassy in London. Her job is to screen visa applicants to ensure no terrorists slip through to the States. She’s so good at her job that the seething Taliban engages an amoral assassin known as The Watchmaker (Brosnan) to take her out. The Watchmaker manages to take out loads of people but not Kate Abbott. So the bad guys frame her and Kate soon is on the run from the CIA, MI6, The Watchmaker and, for all we know, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The ambassador (Bassett) has given blanket shoot-to-kill orders and ordered the notification of every airline, train line, bus line and conga line in the English-speaking world. Which caused one to wonder how Kate caught a flight to New York and landed at JFK unscathed.
Discredited and desperate, Kate still manages to hunt down the evil ones. She tracks The Watchmaker to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. As the seconds tick down, Kate has this epiphany: the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball IS A BOMB! The Watchmaker is going to shoot it and cause it to explode, killing all the festive merrymakers below. The Mother of All Terrorist Acts.
Action-packed, wildly improbable and featuring logical lapses the size of Ohio, this is a popcorner for an evening when you don’t want to think too hard. Except for an unnecessarily brutal prologue, escapist fun.