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|Index||159 reviews in total|
Nathan (Taylor Lautner) has a troubling feeling that something is wrong
with his life. With his friend Karen (Lily Collins), he finds a picture
that looks like him on a website for missing children. He contacts the
website but the chat gets creepy. He hangs up, but it's too late. It's
a trap, and a vast organization has sent men to retrieve him.
Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins are actually pretty similar. They're both beautiful. They both have questionable acting skills. And they both need to prove themselves sooner rather than later. They certainly didn't prove themselves here.
This is the latest John Singleton film. I'm not sure what he's trying to do. Maybe he sees making teenie films for the tween set is where he has to go now. I think it's a mistake. This is not really his type of movie.
The premise has some promise. I like the set up of a kid with a secret revealed. The movie has some good action moments. I don't want to be mean about this. But I just don't think Lautner has it in him to lead a movie. He can physically do it, but he can't emotionally do it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had high hopes for this film based on the original concept and the
caliber of the casting. Unfortunately, the direction of the screenplay
did nothing but create implausible developments and dispassionate
Many reviewers have placed sole blame for the film's shortcomings on the shoulders of Taylor Lautner, but I feel that he, and the entire cast, did the best work possible with the script available.
To begin with, Lautner portrays well the average, privileged high school student with normal adolescent problems- like how to ask out the girl he likes. The film creates a strong family dynamic for Nathan and his parents, Kevin and Mara. Yet, when Nathan believes he sees his picture on a missing children website, he doesn't go to them with his questions. This begins the screenplay's failure to portray any semblance of reality. The attack that killed his parents could have occurred while Nathan was learning the truth thus sending him on the run and in search of the missing pieces of his past.
The script limits Nathan on the amount of grief, indeed the amount of residual effects, he suffers over the loss of his parents. In fact, no other character ever refers to Kevin and Mara as his parents. Since they did, in fact, raise him... they should be acknowledged as his parents. In removing that emotional connection, the screenplay voids much of Nathan's attachment to them.
The screenwriter relies heavily on gimmicks rather than focusing on substantial content dialog. Even the veteran actors' characters seem to be hollow with no real depth. To lay blame on the shoulders of the young star is to sell him short when he does the best he can with the script he was given.
Even with its shortcomings, I still enjoyed the movie... more as a tongue-in-cheek nod to an action movie, but still enjoyable. I suggest watching it again paying close attention to dialog and content rather than putting Lautner alone under the microscope.
Abduction would work as competent, more functional action entertainment
if it (a) wasn't so undistinguished and bland, (b) wasn't directed by
John Singleton, the master behind the direct opposite filmmaking this
kind of film requires, and (c) wasn't so peculiar and awkward in
places. Other than those glaring issues, there's minor fun to be had
here, if you're not to busy laughing at what is on display.
Taylor Lautner of The Twilight Saga stars as Nathan Harper, an emotionally and mentally troubled eighteen year old with known anger issues. He lives with two people, whom he thinks are his parents, and tries to live a normal life even though these mental problems sometimes control his dominant actions. While researching for a lengthy paper one night with his neighbor and crush Karen (Lily Collins), Nathan finds a picture of a child he believes was once him on a missing persons website. He digs deeper into the odd coincidence, and discovers it was indeed him, and that he has been part of a convoluted CIA conspiracy/abduction practice since he was a young child.
This could've been extremely serviceable-fare moreso than it already is if it would minimize the awkward instances I mentioned earlier. Specifically during the exposition scenes of the film, which takes up roughly thirty minutes of the runtime and are easily the strongest points of the film, certain lines of dialog and actions taken by the lead characters make for a strangely mood-killing, out of place series of cringe-worthy instances in the film that throw off the entire pace. For example, when Karen goes up to Nathan's room to research, she is immediately followed by Nathan's mother in the obligatory "behavior yourself" lecture. When asked if they want the door open, Nathan simply replies, "closed," with the camera zooming out to capture Karen's definitely surprised and embarrassed look on her face.
Almost immediately following the scene is one of Nathan and Karen studying, with Nathan leaning over Karen's shoulder, watching her navigate a website. Karen then looks over to Nathan's bicep, which is only mere inches from her faith and makes a notable "god, what a bicep" look that teen girls make in the presence of a hunky guy. Scenes like this are more fit for a low-budget pornographic picture; they are subtle, but questionable instances that don't really belong in an action film and are a tad shocking even if you're trying to set up a love-interest.
But these aren't all the awkward scenes in the film. Without going into too much detail, some others involve Nathan breaking down during this mess, Nathan and Karen namedropping celebrity face-mashups while navigating another missing persons site that shows how a missing child may look now, and in another scene, Nathan's father remarks how "hot" Karen got since she was a little girl.
Lautner will forever get heat for starring in the Twilight films, and to be fair, he isn't completely great here, but to criticize him heavily for just being in the film is too harsh. I simply view him as an actor victim to a flat, but lucrative franchise who will hopefully find guidance and direction in similar paths to other actors such as Channing Tatum. This is a speed-bump in a career that - optimistically speaking - will have a lot in store for him.
The film was directed by John Singleton, which I honestly can't believe. He must've been in a highly experimental phase, is all I can say. Singleton is responsible for three terrific films, Boyz N The Hood, Poetic Justice, and Baby Boy - nicknamed his "hood" trilogy. Those films humanize South Central Los Angeles into a place where blacks are real people with real problems that have gone ignored due to rampant stereotyping and little humanizing. All three hit home on some complex emotional level, whether it be because of an event or a startling truth about Singleton's depictions of urban areas.
The irony is Abduction is emotionally cold throughout its entire runtime. Its ending even falls flat on its face because there is almost nothing about these characters to care about. A half-hour devoted to decent exposition is disregarded entirely because the film feels the need to rush every instance and every situation without a clear direction.
I am shocked (and somewhat baffled) to note that the film was written by Shawn Christensen, who just won an Oscar for his live action short, "Curfew," which I declared my personal favorite after watching and reviewing all the shorts. To think that prior to filming that work of art he wasted his time and talent on a routine action flick is a tad heartbreaking. Not much left to say besides he seems to be moving in the right direction as of now.
Starring: Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins. Directed by: John Singleton.
In the interest of the critics and audience this had moments where the the film held its own. The film is a induced with characteristics of Bourne meets Spy Kids meets the old film Cloak and Dagger. The genre of spy/action/suspense and drama rolled into one has run its course through the industry. With the likes of Alfred Molina, Maria Bello(gorgeous as always)Jason Isaacs, and Sigourney Weaver helped the interest, the wrong casting was the lead of Lautner who is just dull. The movie did move quickly and was able to hold interest throughout. The fight scene were decently choreographed, the action scenes could have been better evolved in the genre of things. Not a terrible film but definitely not one that spoke to you in volumes. If in fact your invested in watching a suspense,action, drama ride for a little bit then pick this one to see.
As teen flics go, I relinquished a demand for total logic of my own volition. The movie began alright, and moved into the thriller suspense genre smooth enough. Even the initial action scenes were acceptable. Then came the wall known as linear plot development. Things stop making sense, became totally unbelievable and I stopped caring. The leading lady looks like a petite fourteen year old with thick eyebrows, like a Russian bear. The make out scenes border on illegal voyeuristic stomach turning filth. She is an unconvincing leading actor. Taylor passes the grade as a leading man, but just barely. Then why did I give it seven stars ? Because the first half succeeded in knotting my stomach and getting me excited before the all too common in Hollywood, devastating mess they called an ending. All in all, some fun, some suspense, some intrigue and I recommend.
Maybe this film is intended to be watched exclusively by the fans of
Taylor Lautner, for there are much TOO MANY close ups and long scenes
where all you see is his facial expression.
Unfortunately the director is following the "recipe" for success, take the shirt off of the main character as soon as the opportunity arises or show his fighting expertise.
The heroine, Lily Collins, does nothing but complain and introduce odd conversation subjects in the middle of a battle.
On the other hand the plot is vaguely tied by some encrypted list who everyone wants to get. The adults actors: Molina, Weaver, Isaacs and Bello do a good job, but since everything dances around Lautner, they are minimized by the script.
Do yourself a favour and choose something else instead when deciding which film to watch.
This movie suffered from a debilitating case of "cash in on the
Twilight mania". From the opening scene of what's-his-name sitting on
the hood of a truck doing 70 mph, to the shirtless scene so many
commenters have already noted, to the overly long hyperbole of fake,
but caring, dad beating the crap out of him to teach him some survival
skills: the first 30 minutes of this movie was an obvious pandering to
the millions of preteen girls who squeal at the very sight of him (I
use him because I can't actually recall the actor's name and I am too
lazy to click the back button on my browser to check as I type this).
This was of course very surprising given the presence of other billed actors like Sigourney Weaver. Why she and some of the others would associate themselves with this script I am not certain.
I can see the storyboard now. Kid being chased by both the CIA and a Russian black ops team for some valuable information only he possesses. Throw in a girl, some car chases, a few fist fights: OK not bad. I can see how this would make a good plot device. However, this one failed miserably.
Maybe if the opening scene had started from the train this movie could have garnered some of my respect. However, that would require dispensing with the pointless back story. So if you try to piece together some of the plot points you just end up spraining your brain. That's how bad the plot is.
Many have noted the similarities to Bourne Identity. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Are you serious? The only similarity is they are both movies. No more. OK, I'm done.
The main problem with this movie is the directors inability to let go of Taylor's current twilight audience and appeal to the action genre audience- this is why we are left wanting. The momentum staggers constantly in this film due to terrible editing like the girl stumbling down the bank just so Taylor can catch her. This hot chick baggage gradually and easily becomes just annoying and the movie would have been a lot better if they simply explored the main character as angry and lethal- Without the insipid bonding of the girl and hero- In an action movie the chick sometimes plays a significant role- but there is nothing significant about this girls role apart from letting teenage girls dream they were her as Taylor holds her hand constantly. Taylor needs to choose his roles more carefully in the future if he doesn't want to be typecast as a young pretty face. A fate most actors his age seem to be unable to escape.
"If I were adopted why would my picture end up on a missing persons website?" Nathan is a high school senior and is assigned to work on a report on sociology. When him and his partner begin to look at missing persons websites for research they are shocked to see a little boy that looks like Nathan. When he questions his mother about it their home is attacked and Nathan and his friend are forced to flee. I will start by saying that I am not a Taylor Lautner fan. Nothing to do with "Twilight" but more to do with his lack of acting ability. I went in to this looking to make fun of it and as much as I hate to admit it it was better then I expected. Still really bad, but better then I thought. I think my big problem with this one is that it had such a neat idea and seemed to do nothing with it. The movie had about ten minutes of actually story strung together with bad acting (from Lautner) and action. It also could be that I'm in my 30's and am 15 years too old for this type of movie but I did not really enjoy this. Overall a good movie for high school kids. I give it a C.
The story is OK, but acting is so bad. Taylor Lautner needs to go to an Acting school NOW! He needs to stop just making faces all the time and Get into the character. If you have breaking arm or you are sick on Bed, watch it. 7.5 million dollars! Wow, he does not deserved, as all The movies he was acting the lines, the way he walk everything is Wrong, he is good in fighting, no talking, showing his abs and the with Teeth. The other actors you will forget as soon the movie end. Thank You. I do not have much to write, music OK, length OK, casting Uhhhhh. My wife was sleeping the last 20 minutes. IMDb gave the perfect score to this movie and this is great.
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