The Survivalist tests viewers’ ability to endure sitting through the whole movie

By Alexis Newman

In concept, an action movie centered around a virus outbreak sounds like a potential hit considering the current world situation, but the new movie “The Survivalist” (2021) falls far short of that expectation.

The setting is post-apocalyptic, depicting the world population decimated by the COVID virus and overrun by looters and gangs. The plot centers around a former FBI agent, Benjamin Grant (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who is trying to protect his property as well as a girl named Sarah (Ruby Modine) who is being hunted down by a cult-like group.

This group is led by Aaron (John Malkovich), the only man to survive the strain of the virus that continues to plague the population, and he believes that he has a right to take Sarah because she too is immune, therefore a perfect option for breeding to create a new generation. Aaron is followed by an entourage of people who believe that he is a sort of Messiah who will lead humanity to salvation from the virus.

Unoriginality shines through every aspect of the film. From the cliché and unrealistic dialogue to the overly dramatic plot lines, it is difficult to sit through the entirety of the it. To make it worse, the main characters provide very little reasoning beyond being protagonists to root for their victory.

Each character is a stereotype, and the relationships shown are often underdeveloped or confusing. Most of the lines are unnecessarily vague and occasionally borderline nonsensical.  The entire movie is a caricature, and by the halfway point, it becomes increasingly more tempting to switch it off.

Although it certainly isn’t the worst movie ever made, “The Survivalist” doesn’t add anything new to the cinema scene, and viewers should carefully consider their options before investing an hour and a half into watching it.


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