film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Survivalist 2021 * * 1/2 Stars


The Survivalist came out in 2021 but it represents my first write-up of the new year. "Survivalist" is post-apocalyptic, gimcrack-ed, and well, it almost gets by on one shooting location (a dank farmhouse in what looks like the Midwest).

Anyhow, The Survivalist tops out at barely 90 minutes (with credits). With maybe someone like Liam Neeson in the lead, or better production values, or a stronger cast, it might've been something more. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and John Malkovich star but with mixed results. Meyers painfully overacts and Malkovich, well it feels like he's playing himself. 

So yeah, "Survivalist" is a film that piggybacks on the pandemic. Howbeit, it tells its story from a more down and dirty point of view. In the real world, toilet paper, ketchup, and coins were the shortages circa 2020. In the world of The Survivalist, bullets, guns, and venison are the things that need rationing. 

The Survivalist was filmed during COVID and released in October of last year. It contains annoying father and son flashbacks, pedestrian low budget shootouts (where's the blood?), and a hack, end of the world script. 

Now does "Survivalist" have some tense moments in fits and starts? Yup. Otherwise I would've panned it completely. And does "Survivalist" lay out a decent blueprint for a merited standoff flick? Sure it does. I just think it's strange that five antagonists can't take out one dude with limited ammo and two gunshots in him (I'm guessing they were in the arm and leg). 

Shot with cinematography that feels like one hue (I'm thinking beige) and containing acting by the supporting players that supplements the almighty B-movie, "Survivalist" is about a former Fed who tries to protect an immune women from a gang of ruffians (who want to use her and her breeding to save the planet). In truth, I didn't dislike The Survivalist. I just think it might be all too brief and too small-scale to be "extant". Natch. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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