A Foreign Service Officer in London tries to prevent a terrorist attack set to hit New York, but is forced to go on the run when she is framed for crimes she did not commit.
Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is a highly-rated Foreign Service Officer who has just been appointed to the U.S. Embassy in London to help troubleshoot visa applicants for suspected terrorists trying to get into the U.S. When one guy comes in all but waving red flags, her immediate supervisor (Robert Forster) pooh-poohs her suspicions and when she tries to investigate further, she runs afoul of both an officious British inspector (James D’Arcy) and the U.S. Ambassador (Angela Bassett). Of course, she is on to something after all and a top-notch assassin known only as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan) is brought in to take her out. Although he misses her, his efforts take out nearly all of Karen’s colleagues and, through a ridiculous chain of circumstances, leave her looking responsible for their deaths. With the British cops, U.S. agents and the relentless Watchmaker on her trail, Karen tries, with the limited assistance of the only two colleagues she still trusts (Dylan McDermott and Frances de la Tour), to evade capture while trying to figure out the terrorists are trying to accomplish and stopping it in the presumed nick of time.
As you can probably surmise from just that brief plot recap, originality is not exactly one of the strong points of survivor—screenwriter Phillip Shelby has essentially given viewers a mash-up of any number of movies ranging from “Saboteur” to “The Fugitive” to “Salt,” to name just a few potential inspirations, without throwing anything new into the mix. At first, there is the suggestion that the story might point up the irony of the security expert being stymied and her actions misinterpreted by the very same devices (such as the omnipresent CCTV systems) and organizations that were supposed to make everyone feel safer in the first place but that notion is quickly and decisively abandoned. (There is, however, a final title card praising U.S. security agencies for the number of potential terrorist attacks they have prevented—an odd thing to mention considering the bumbling and easily duped manner in which they are depicted in the story proper.) Beyond that, exposition is doled out in raw and barely digestible chunks, the few plot twists on hand are tipped way too early to have any real effect and the final scenes, in which the target and the true nature of the attack are revealed, are silly instead of gripping.