Robin Williams plays a young executive, Donald Quinelle, who starts his business day with a visit to the boss's office, where he's informed by a large trained parrot that he's been fired. Unfortunately, this sequence is the high point of THE SURVIVORS, leaving the rest of the film an olio
of undeveloped characters and unfunny jokes. Quinelle heads for the unemployment line and meets Sonny Paluso (Walter Matthau), a former gas station owner whose business was blown up. After the two witness a robbery, the culprit, Jack Locke (Jerry Reed), is determined to kill them, because they
have seen his face. Meanwhile, Quinelle decides to enroll in a survivalist training school.
Considering the personnel involved, THE SURVIVORS should have been a very funny movie. But director Michael Ritchie, who had a string of successful satirical movies behind him (THE CANDIDATE, SMILE, THE BAD NEWS BEARS, and SEMI-TOUGH), doesn't seem to know what he's after here. Williams, Matthau,
and Reed struggle with the material and generate some bright moments, but overall THE SURVIVORS is a bewildering, frustrating movie.
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