Salt, this isn’t. In fact, Jovovich’s lead character is so uneven and untrained that Alice, at her most confused and lost, could have still kicked her butt. In itself that wouldn’t have been a problem, but she’s supposed to be the head of security at an embassy. She has clearly had no tactical field experience and, worse, doesn’t even seem to know she’s been chipped as a standard practice by her own people. And that is just a start to her skill gaps.
What is sad is that this film is loaded with real talent, almost all of whom go to waste. McDermott (Olympus Has Fallen), de la Tour (Vicious), D’Arcy (Jupiter Ascending), Forster (Automata), Thomas (Scrotal Recall), just to name a few, are all capable and almost all given nothing of value to work with. Bassett (American Horror Story) is probably the most abused by the script, made to function within a histrionic and bumbling ambassador. At least Brosnan (November Man) creates a cold-hearted assassin worth viewing; you can see why he took the role.
Finally, from a cast point of view, this was Roger Rees last film, having died only a day ago. It is almost as ironic a legacy as Raul Julia’s final outing in Street Fighter. A career isn’t judged by a single, or even the last, effort of an actor, but you always hope for something more when it is such a strong talent being viewed. He will be missed.
McTeigue has been trying to match matching his directorial debut since V for Vendetta, without much success. Survivor is marginally better than The Raven, but still rather a miss. At least he’s had Sense8 to hang a card on. The main failure of this film is on Shelby’s ill-researched, first script. There are some clever bits to the story in terms of keeping things from being seen or discovered and in terms of the overall plot, but chains of command are all wrong, not to mention a host of other details and misleading motivations.
Generally, let me be the one who threw himself on the grenade for you. Go find something better to watch unless you absolutely feel you have to see this for the actors or some other reason. It isn’t unwatchable, it is just very frustrating, especially since there was some real potential in the ideas and cast.