By: Garrett Collins
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver and Maria Bello
In a way, I can see how Abduction got made. After all, there are almost no action stars out there for this generation (only Jason Statham comes to mind). And, while it is enjoyable to watch Sylvester Stallone get all his cronies off social security long enough to be in the Expendables films, the days of an action movie that doesn’t have fighting robots or comic book characters showing up once a summer like the days of old are gone. So, the results are things like this turkey, directed by a guy who never quite lived up to his potential (Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton) and starring that shirtless wonder from the Twilight films, Taylor Lautner.
Before we get to him, let’s discuss the plot. The story of this film centers on a boy named Nathan Harper (Lautner) who, along with his longtime friend Karen Murphy (Lily Collins) sees his baby picture on a missing persons website and comes to the conclusion that he is not who he thinks he is. This, of course, leads to chase scenes and at least 3 pointless scenes of seeing Lautner with his shirt off. First of all, let me start with the good. The premise to this film is not bad, and actually had a bit of promise to it when I first heard it. It is captivating, and in the right screenwriter’s hands, could have been gripping and exciting. Also, Singleton did the right thing by surrounding his young star with a very talented cast. There’s Alfred Molina (who will always be the guy with the spiders on his back from Raiders of the Lost Ark to me), Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs (Green Zone, Harry Potter), and Sigourney Weaver (who really looks to be buying time until that script to Avatar 2 shows up on her doorstep). And Collins (daughter of ex Genesis front man Phil) shows lots of promise that she is going to be a star of the future. I don’t know…I can feel it in the air about this girl tonight, and it points to her being a force in film for years to come.
Now, for the bad. An action star Lautner is not. His character of Nathan may be the worst, unlikable action hero I have ever seen. Frequently questioning whether he is a freak and constant insomnia and rage issues. Really? Is this what is going to be passed to us as someone to root for? An emo action hero? I swear, the whole time I was watching Lautner question his freakiness, call 911 and tell them his parents had been shot with the emotional range of Anna Nicole Smith, I was just wishing that Dutch (Arnold’s character from Predator) or John Rambo would walk up and throw him through a wall. It was tough for me to watch. Especially as it was directed by Singleton, a man who I thought was going to be a force within directing for quite sometime after he did the excellent Boyz N The Hood over twenty years ago. Instead, he has resorted in recent years to directing junk like this and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Of course, this could all be coming from the script. Written by Shaun Christensen (who had only written short films before this one), there is no one to root for. Not even the most of the time reliable Weaver, who sleepwalks through this role, spitting stupid, groan-inducing lines like “I hate balloons” during a pivotal scene. And, don’t even get me started on the tumultuous to sit through finale, which if you have seen any of the trailers, you know takes place during a Pirates game.
I really, really wanted to like this film. Maybe it is a sign of the times and I am getting old. Maybe this is what our modern day public wants to see in their action films. However, count me out of that loop. I am sorry. A vulnerable character is bad enough. In fact, when written correctly, it can be an attribute in an action film. One with absolutely no emotional range and chemistry, however, is just impossible to root for. I realize that these aspects are part of Lautner’s charm to all those Twi-hards. But, I even defy any of them to sit through this drek. When does Expendables 2 come out again?
1 out of 5