James McTeigue’s Survivor is one of those generic thrillers that come around every so often, that abide so frustratingly to the genre tropes, with such a distinct lack of identity and innovation, that it feels almost as though it’s admitting defeat from the off-set. With an inclination for unbearable cliché, it’s a shame given the stellar cast on board, but their efforts are undermined, persistently, by a mediocre screenplay and feeble attempt in the editing suite. What transpires is a grandiose, cinematic endeavour, presented in a straight-to-DVD kind of way.

Milla Jovovich plays Kate Abbott, a hard-nosed State Department employer recently assigned to the American Embassy in London, tasked with the prevention of allowing terrorists on to US soil. When she questions the legitimacy of a supposed doctor, she unwittingly becomes embroiled in a dark, deep web of corruption, which leads to her becoming a target of the feared assassin Nash (Pierce Brosnan). Having been discredited – and framed – she is not only on the run from those wanting to kill her, but also from those supposed to protect her. Vying desperately to prevent a forthcoming terrorist attack, targeting Times Square on New Year’s Eve – she intends on not only saving countless innocent lives, but clearing her own name in the process.

The picture opens well, setting itself up as an elusive crime thriller that will keep the audience on their toes, with an unpredictable entry point into this world, as we use Kate as a means of uncovering the truth amidst the sea of lies, never knowing who to trust in the process. But the picture carelessly deviates away from such a narrative, and when the tables turn on Kate and she becomes a fugitive, the title instantaneously takes on the form of a hackneyed cat and mouse chase, and we lose sight of the more intriguing, nuanced elements that derive from the more politically inclined themes.

Nonetheless, the one area that remains blurred throughout and open to interpretation, is the role of Nash. Given Brosnan – famed for being a protagonist – is portraying the role, not to mention the fact that McTeigue gives the character equal billing to his hero Kate – it subverts expectations somewhat, and keeps you guessing as to what the assassins true intentions really are. It’s help by Brosnan’s accomplished turn, as one of many recognisable faces that make up this cast – as even the supporting roles are taken up by renowned actors, such as Dylan McDermott, Frances de la Tour, Robert Forster, James D’Arcy and Angela Bassett. However that does lend itself to quite vital questions; why did they all sign on to this underwhelming project? What was the attraction?

On a more positive note, the London tourist board will no doubt be pleased with this endeavour – evident from the opening, swooping shot of the city’s landscape and sky-line, setting the precedence for the rest of the title, which becomes unrelenting in its attempts to annoy anybody who actually knows the city, with a contrived attempt to have scenes shot at all of the famous landmarks. This is merely emblematic of a film that refuses to try anything new, seemingly content at sticking to type, and remaining within the limitations and boundaries of the genre that it has set upon itself. There is of course a comfortability to that in some regards, but for many, this is just another film we’ve seen countless times before, and sadly, are likely to see countless times again.