Director: Jon Keeyes
Writer: Matthew Rogers (Screenplay)
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Malkovich, Jenna Leigh Green, Ruby Modine, Jon Orsini, Thaddeus Street
Plot: A year and a half after the fall of civilization due to a viral outbreak, a former FBI agent forced to protect a young woman immune to the disease from a dangerous gang leader hunting her.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Survivalist starts as a woman Sarah (Modine) is on the run from Aaron (Malkovich) and his group of thugs in a post-apocalyptic world. Sarah finds herself being sent to meet an FBI agent Ben (Meyers) who has been living off the grid during the viral outbreak.
As Sarah arrives on Ben’s ranch, Aaron isn’t far behind, with his thugs looking to seize the ranch for their own benefit, knowing just how important Sarah is for the future of humanity.
Thoughts on The Survivalist
Characters & Performances – Ben is the former FBI agent that has survived the viral outbreak alone on his ranch, he has dealt with family problems before and during the outbreak. He finds himself in the middle of the fight between the thugs and the woman, needing to use his skills to protect her and his ranch from losing everything. Jonathan Rhys Meyers does well in this role, he handles the action well, but doesn’t always get the time for the serious side of things. Aaron is the leader of the thugs who believes he has beaten the virus, believing he has come from a higher power to make the world a better place, he has serious cult leader vibes, making people believe he knows everything is the best. John Malkovich gets the good speech moments, but away from that, he doesn’t seem to do much. Sarah is the woman that ends up on Ben’s ranch, she doesn’t get affected by the virus. She only seems to be here to explain what is happening. Most of the supporting characters don’t seem to have much to do other than the odd battle against Ben.
Story – The story here follows a potential saviour of the nation who is immune to a devasting virus turns to a former FBI agent, as they look to escape from a ruthless gang of thugs who have their own plans for her. This is a story that can be seen two ways, the first negative side is to use the real life pandemic disease name for what happened, instead of just making one up, which would have been easier. On the positive side this story does feel like an episode of The Walking Dead, without the zombies, where the lead character must come up against a menacing villain to show off their skills. This does get into the action quickly, which is great, making everything feel more time based unfolding.
Themes – The Survivalist is an action thriller that has been created to show the very worst of what could have happened in a viral outbreak, the early days of the end of humanity, if you will. It plays out with commentary that something big has happened, but then contains the action to one main ranch, which only disappoints showing us the grander scale of the environment. The action does come off as the basics of what you would expect in a limited ammunition fight scenario.
Signature Entertainment presents The Survivalist on Digital Platforms 11th October
Final Thoughts – The Survivalist is a by the book action thriller, that puts the spotlight on Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the action hero role.