Abduction (2011) Poster

(I) (2011)

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3/10
Just refuses to admit it's a B-movie.
Jonathon Natsis23 September 2011
Let me open with what any film review should address: I did not enjoy this movie. But first, a disclaimer: despite my reasons, I want to assure you that none of my negative points will verbally lambast lead actor Taylor Lautner just because 'he's some guy from Twilight.' Nor will I make scalding reference to his gratuitous lack of upper body wear; the kind that one would hope comes off as witty commentary but ends up sounding more like an awkward combination of contempt and jealousy. So, with that out of the way, let's get started.

When the shy but short-tempered Nathan (Lautner) is paired up with girl next door Karen (Lily Collins) for a school research assignment, he is shocked to find an image of his younger self on a 'missing persons' website, prompting him to question everything he thought was normal about his life. When the cover is blown, he and Karen find themselves on the run, unable to trust anyone in their search for the truth.

Not only will I not target any more of this review towards Lautner personally, I will even concede that he does his best on what is otherwise a sinking ship from the opening scene. Naturally, his acting skills do need refinement, and I expect we're not looking at the next De Niro here, but his occasionally lackluster delivery is simply a branch of a much bigger problem- the script.

As an unapologetic actioner, it should be expected that Abduction possesses some of the clunky dialogue clichés associated with the genre. These include, but are not limited to 'trust has to be earned', 'I'm not leaving without her' and perennial favourite 'wait…how do you know my name?', which is actually used more than once. But among these tired expressions is a handful of headscratchers; lines intended to act as cool quips but possessing an undoubtedly cringe-worthy aftertaste. For example, after Gerry (Sigourney Weaver) helps Nathan escape using balloons to cover security cameras (a la Ocean's Eleven) she releases them with the deadpan, utterly serious line of 'I hate balloons'. So you see my point.

The set pieces are just as ludicrous, asking the viewer to buy into the movie too much when we have not been given any reason to engage with the plot in the first place. In one instance, we bear witness to a CIA agent (operating undercover as a suburban housewife) easily take out two trained assassins. The climax set at a baseball game is a storytelling train wreck, fraught with inconsistencies and overly convenient outcomes. At the very least, I hoped a film set in Pittsburgh would show some love for the mighty Steelers instead of the lowly Pirates, but I digress.

General flaws in logic and realism are other aspects that can be attributed to this type of movie without having them become a major concern. Often, we tend to overlook moments which would result in serious injury for the hero in real life simply because he's just that, a hero. I'm also willing to pass these moments off, but in Abduction they occur so often, and on such a noticeable scale that they severely detract from any engagement with the film that could be developed as it progresses, and therein lies its greatest letdown.

I commend the satisfactory action scenes, which minimised the kind of close-up, rapid camera movement that has drawn the bulk of my ire in recent months. Also, I was pleased to see the film show a bit of gumption by avoiding an entirely happy, alls-well-that-ends-well conclusion, but these upsides are not enough to sweeten what is otherwise an inherently flawed film.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review.*
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Bland action thriller that tries- but fails- to be the younger Bourne, no thanks to Taylor Lautner's hammy acting
moviexclusive21 September 2011
Five minutes. That was how long it took before Taylor Lautner took his shirt off in his purportedly gritty action thriller 'Abduction'- and depending on how you took to that fact, you may find yourself enjoying every minute of it or cringing in disbelief. Right from the start, this Taylor-made vehicle makes no excuses for being a breakout role for the 'Twilight' star- after all, if Team Edward (or Robert Pattinson) can do it, then there's no reason why Team Jacob can't do likewise.

Nonetheless, it seems that Team Jacob should have just stayed in the woods of Forks, Washington, for this insipid Bourne-wannabe does him nor his fans no favours. Rather, (and we may be risking our life and limb by saying this) it only demonstrates his limitations as an actor, especially since he practically recycles the same angsty broody expression throughout the film that he had already put forth umpteen times in the 'Twilight' movies. And no, being a teenager who discovers that the people you call 'mother' and 'father' aren't in fact your real parents isn't much of an excuse too.

That's the predicament Lautner's character Nathan finds himself in one day, after stumbling across a website with photos of missing children and using some software to approximate what one of those kids could look like as a teenager. Though that's the very premise of the movie, the least we expected was for debut feature film screenwriter Shawn Christensen to come up with a better lead in than just some stupid research assignment Nathan and his girl next door Karen (Lily Collins, daughter of singer Phil) was assigned to work together on.

Logic and coherence are however too much evidently to demand, as one would have to suspend both to believe that Nathan is suddenly at the centre of global espionage with both the good guys (led by 'Spiderman 2's' Alfred Molina) and the bad guys (led by Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist from 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo') in pursuit. Apparently, Nathan is the son of a top secret CIA undercover operative whose 'parents' (Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello) are fellow CIA agents sent to protect him while his father is away. As with all chases, the aim is for something that Nathan has in his possession- some encrypted code with the names of dirty CIA agents.

It takes almost half an hour before the action kicks in, the introduction that sets up Nathan's adolescent issues and his secret high-school crush on Karen pure tedium that is definitely not director John Singleton's forte. Thankfully, the pace picks up considerably once Nathan is thrust into that implausible situation, with Singleton clearly at ease setting up the film's various action sequences. One of the first that sees Nathan's 'parents' murdered is shot and edited for maximum thrills, and the climax set in a packed stadium with a live baseball match also packs suspense.

To Lautner's credit, the action also looks good because he performs most, if not all, of the stunts by himself- whether tackling a bigger- sized guy MMA-style or fleeing from the bad guys with parkour. Singleton doesn't go for the shaky-cam technique, allowing his audience to appreciate Lautner's physicality in its full glory. Even so, taking on the lead role requires Lautner to perform some serious acting in order for us to identify with his character's inner distress, but the square- jawed actor with his one-note performance fails to inspire any empathy.

The fault doesn't lie with Lautner entirely- to appeal to the teenage demographic which the producers are relying on to turn up for this movie, they have decided to amp up the obligatory romance between Nathan and Karen, even to the extent of letting the two teenage characters engage in some heavy making-out that stops just before it crosses the PG13 boundary. It is distracting and laughable, although the latter seems to be in line with most of the awful dialogue in the film.

Not even veteran stars like Isaacs, Bello, Molina, Nyqvist and Sigourney Weaver (who plays Nathan's psychologist) can redeem this at-best made- for-TV thriller that tries to be the younger version of the Bourne series. So as much as Team Jacob may wish for Lautner to be their Matt Damon, or even Tom Cruise, it is clear from his debut headlining movie that once the 'Twilight' phenomenon fades, the same can probably be said of Lautner's acting career as well.

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ABS-olutely for fans of Taylor Lautner
changmoh23 September 2011
If you are a female fan of the "Twilight" series, there is probably only one thing you need to know about this movie: yes, lead star Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt at the slightest excuse to show off those washboard abs.

For those who are not interested in Lautner, I am afraid there's ABSolutely nothing in "Abduction" for you - unless you like half-baked spy thrillers, lame acting and asinine script.

The plot is about high school student Nathan Price (Taylor Lautner) who stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website. He realises that his parents (Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs) are not his own and that his life is a lie. As Nathan starts to search for his true identity and his biological parents, he is being targeted by a team of rogue agents, forcing him to flee with his neighbor, Karen (Lily Collins). He begins to realize that his fabricated life is hiding a dangerous truth.

In writing this screenplay, I suspect that writers Shawn Christensen and Jeffrey Nachmanoff must have pieced together ideas from The Bourne Identity and the recent Hanna - and come out with this harebrained plot. But the truth could be that director John Singleton and the film-makers do not really care about the plot: they just want an excuse to show heart-throb Lautner and Collins on the run from some baddies (who included Swedish icon Michael Nyqvist of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") in order to film some action sequences.

Indeed, many films have gotten away with idiotic plots - provided they have stars that audiences could root for. Alas, Lautner seems incapable of having more than a couple of expressions and he can't act to save his life. Neither can Collins despite the strong support of veterans like Sigourney Weaver (as Nathan's shrink) and Alfred Molina (as a CIA exec). All through the first half, Singleton keeps the audience wondering why Nathan is being chased and in the second half, his aim is probably to keep them from walking out of the cineplex. ABS-olutely for Lautner fans. (limchangmoh.blogspot.com)
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1/10
OMG! Major disappointment
Daniel Stuckey26 September 2011
PROS - His abs. Really nice body (which I am guessing women over 45 liked it so much)

CONS - Everything.

In summary this movie is shocking. It did look promising for the first 5minutes but it went down hill really fast. The acting was so bad and the lines are shocking. Sigourney Weaver does her best with but like us she has trouble relating to anyone in the movie. It gets to the point that where you just wished either the bad guys with the guns or the good guys with the guns (that's the CIA... That's right pure as the driven snow) would catch the kid.

I would say get it out on DVD or download it, but I would strongly recommend saving your money and your bandwidth allocation and your time, and watch something else.... Anything else....
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Lautner Cannot Carry an Action Film
Marter222 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was excited when I saw the cast. Listen to the actors involved in this production. There's Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Michael Nyqvist and Maria Bello. Okay, so there's also Taylor Lautner in the lead role, as well as Lily Collins as his sidekick, but I was hopeful that the supporting cast could allow it to be a worthwhile watch. For a while, I actually believed that "Abduction" could be a good film.

Even the first 20 minutes or so weren't that bad. We watched Nathan (Lautner) and his friends go to a party and get drunk. He wakes up the next morning hungover and stripped of his shirt. Those of you who have seen the "Twilight" films are probably used to seeing Lautner without a shirt on, but surprisingly, it stays on his person for the majority of this film. Nathan goes home to find out that his father (Jason Isaacs) wants to have a boxing session, so they fight, and it's enjoyable. It's especially fun because the younger of the two gets beaten up quite a bit. He's also grounded for a week because he didn't call home. How adorable.

We watch the young Nathan go to school and get assigned a project to work on with his neighbor, Karen (Collins). Their project has something to do with missing children, or maybe just people in general, it's not really elaborated on. When looking at one website, they see a child that looks remarkably similar to Nathan. They do a digital reconstruction of what the child might look like now, and it's almost a perfect match. Then they look closer at the younger photo, and they see that the shirt the child is wearing is the same on that Nathan had as a kid. It even has the same stain on the right shoulder. Weird, right?

Well, apparently not. This was a trap, and Nathan fell right into it. Things happen which I won't spoil, a little bit of "Spy Kids" action goes on in regards to Nathan's parents, and eventually Nathan and Lilly end up on the run from not one, but two parties. The first claims to be the CIA, and is led by Alfred Molina, while the second is a bunch of Russian guys led by Michael Nyqvist. Can the pair trust anyone? Will they get out alive? Who knows, but more importantly, does anyone care?

I certainly didn't. Nathan was as bland as you might expect a Taylor Lautner character to be played. He's your typical teenager -- shy around girls, loves playing video games and hanging out with friends -- and yet, he is an amazing athlete and could easily be the most popular person at the school. He also has weird dreams, which he explains to his shrink (Sigourney Weaver), and that's about as deep as his personality gets.

What's strange about director John Singleton's picture is that he seems to think his characters are deep, and that we deserve to spend a lot of time with them when they're not doing anything. The plot doesn't really kick in until maybe the half hour mark, and even after we do start to roll, there are points when characters will stop just to chat and let us get to know them -- all the bland, lifeless them that there is to know.

His "friend", Karen, isn't much better. She basically serves no purpose except to give Nathan someone to talk to throughout, and even when it would be intelligent to leave her so that she can be safe, he doesn't because, well, I'm not really sure. She protests against going home, although she's not the target anyway. He is, because there's a list that his father -- his real father, anyway, as it turns out that Isaacs' character wasn't really his dad -- stole, that everyone else wants. There's more to the list than just that, but it serves as the MacGuffin to drive the plot.

Whether or not Taylor Lautner makes a good action star will depend entirely on how you see him, and whether or not you can believe it. Personally, I didn't think he had it in him, but if you're a big fan, you'll probably overlook any of his flaws anyway. I can say that he desperately struggled with the more dramatic scenes, line delivery, or even acting like a normal human being whenever he wasn't being chased.

What gets to me most is how poorly the established actors were used. Weaver gets three scenes total, I believe, Nyqvist is always just in the background, except for one scene during a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game which comes close to being the sole highlight, while Molina plays basically the same character as Nyqvist, being used in the same way: Poorly. If "Abduction" goes to prove anything, it's that Lautner cannot carry an action film alone.

This would still all be okay if the action was entertaining, but it just isn't. The action scenes follow this sort of pattern: Fist fight, car chase, fist fight, car chase. Rinse and repeat as often as you can in the remaining hour and change after the plot kicks in, and I've basically described the entire movie. Well, there are those scenes when the characters, and the audience get a break, but they end up dragging us down because the actors involved in them don't make us believe in their characters.

"Abduction" is terrible, especially given how talented the supporting cast members are. But Lautner can't carry this film, the secondary actors are all underutilized, while the writing and action scenes were all lackluster. The plot doesn't even make complete sense, with things needing exposition being ignored, and things easily understood given all of the time. Unless you want to watch Taylor Lautner being chased around for 100 minutes, you have no reason to spend your time with "Abduction".
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2/10
Laughably Bad
Dillon Becker23 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As a film major I have a whole list of analytical problems with this movie, but from a typical audience member's point of view, this movie was just BAD. Nothing made sense, the acting was terrible, and half the scenes were painful to watch. The "action" was decent at best, and the "romance" was a joke. The entire theater (which was quite full) was dying from laughter throughout the entire film. If you thought the trailer looked bad, the rest of the film is worse.

As I mentioned, nothing seemed to make sense. The characters travel from Pittsburgh to Virginia to halfway to Nebraska then back to Pittsburgh all in about a day, but I'm not even sure if that's correct because nothing is ever made clear or explained. We see scenes begin to unravel, then suddenly they jump forward in time with no explanation. For example, Karen (Lily Collins) is tied up in a room. We see her knock a glass cup off a counter and it shatters. She starts kicking the broken glass towards her hands which are tied up around a chair leg, but then we cut back to Nathan (Taylor Lautner) who is fighting some Russian guy and suddenly she shows up in the doorway. What happened?? How did she cut herself loose?? And this isn't just a one time thing - it happens all throughout the film! Who made them lunch in the café? It was empty!! And who put the gun under his seat at the stadium?!

Film flubs aside, the acting is terrible. Karen is decent, but Nathan is a joke. Even Sigourney Weaver sounds like she's reading the lines off the script. The only time we ever hear even a small dose of emotion from her is the very end of the film. Any moment that was supposed to be taken seriously was ruined by the acting and the film's attempt to be "cool." Most the humor was topical (Justin Bieber jokes, Facebook references) and the romance plot was pathetic.

All in all this movie was BAD. The action was alright, but if you want to see an action film go watch something else. The romance was dumb. The acting was mostly awful and the story was sub-par. If you want a good laugh then by all means go see this movie! Otherwise, don't even bother.

Oh, and can someone PLEASE explain to me how it was late evening in Pittsburgh, PA, but it was mid-afternoon in London??!?!!?
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2/10
why did they bother making this film, did someone lose a bet?
thethumbthing12 October 2011
In this time of economic crisis and people all around us loosing homes and jobs, i just wonder what type of salary this Taylor Lautner got for his role in this movie? (7.5 million!!!)Here's a guy who has no right to be given the opportunity to act in films and be paid for it! There are so many talented actors out there serving tables and this guy is getting massive salaries to do what he obviously does worst... act! This was a B minus film, not worth the admission fee or the 2 hours you will waste watching it! I wonder what the budget of this film was?, the money would have been better used if given to starving children or me! go to a gym if your interested in hot bodies, go to the movies if you want a good film, or so the theory goes...
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1/10
never judge a book by its cover
miketaylor200720 January 2012
The trailer for this movie looked interesting. I had high expectations for Abduction because in the trailer it looked like it had a lot of action and suspense. This in my opinion is the worst thriller ever created and I would feel ashamed to produce or direct such trash. The story was not put together well at all and Taylor Lautner's acting abilities are laughable throughout the entire film. I just came to realize this kid can't act at all and he should never have a staring role in anything. I absolutely hate the movie. What is next Hollywood? Bieber to star in Commando 2?! I believe Abuction is not even worth a one time watch and I hate the fact that they would get somebody as untalented as Taylor Lautner to star in it. I guess even if this movie had Van Damme it was already doomed anyway.
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2/10
A Very Poor film from the great director
afijamesy2k24 September 2011
It's hard to believe that this is the same director that did Boyz n the hood 20 years ago is now director of this piece of terrible piece of trash called abduction, it starts Lautner who was so good in Twlight many years back is awful here as a teenage who's parents were kidnapped is trying to prove his innocence and finds the killers who kidnapped the parents, this is so bad on fronts, the acting is worthless, some talents like Weaver and Molina are wasted, the screenplay is a mess and the editing is useless, this is one of the worst movies of the year and a complete disappointment from john singleton.

I Was so very disappointed in this, Thumbs Way Down on this one.
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4/10
I paid more for a sneak preview movie that was barely mediocre, had plenty of loopholes and raw acting, but at least there's Taylor Lautner
Celesta823 September 2011
I managed to convince my friends to watch this movie because I told them the trailer was killer. But, boy was I proved wrong. The movie was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT

Sneak preview tickets are more expensive than normal movies. But I thought it was gonna be good so I paid for it. Only to end up watching a very bland, non-climactic movie with a very poorly written storyline. The only highlight of the show was seeing Taylor Lautner acting as a normal high school kid instead of a werewolf. But still, sad to say his acting had no charisma at all. His co-actress Lily Collins was no better, or maybe it was just her character that was so unlikeable, it made the whole movie really draggy.

First quarter of the movie was still fine, but then it started to get cheesy.... There were so many loopholes in the movie and it just feels like the script and plot were very poorly planned. I sense sloppy work there. I left the theatre feeling so bewildered. So you might say:"it's just a movie.... not everything makes sense" But comparing to big action-spy movie names like Bourne, Mission Impossible and Die Hard which have delivered an excellent movie experiences which leaves you at the edge of your seat, Abduction feels more like a chick-flick packed with more action, or maybe a budget action film. It's very subtle.

The parts I enjoyed in the movie was the presence of veterans like Sigourney Weaver, Mario Bello and my favourite, Jason Isaacs who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. They are always a joy to have and see in movies.

I wouldn't recommend watching this movie. Unless you just want to see Taylor Lautner, I would rather you give this show a miss. If you really want to go for it, don't get your hopes too high.
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1/10
Awful from start to finish
laurahilton199020 January 2012
If there was a rating on this site lower than 1/10, I'd have chosen that rating instead. Absolutely terrible. I didn't find any redeeming quality in it, Sigourney Weaver even looked like she was wincing at how terrible the whole thing was.

It was so terrible, that even if Taylor Lautner had his shirt off through the whole movie, sweat dripping off his body, his marvelous abs glistening, it still would have sucked just as much. Its like no one was even trying to make it an 'eh' movie.

Don't even illegally download this crap, so not even worth it.

It couldn't even pass as a crappy movie for young and impressionable teenage girls to swoon over.
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5/10
Somehow manages to feel low-budget
MosHr18 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie at the 20 city live red carpet cast premiere. Even though the movie has lots of talented cast like Mario Bello, Jason Issacs, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina - the movie and the poster squarely focuses on Taylor Lautner. The red carpet talk was about his martial arts background and the numerous cuts and bruises everyone had suffered during the filming process. I was expecting an stunt based, action oriented movie; even more by the talk and comparisons made to the Bourne Identity Matt Damon and Mission Impossible Tom Cruise.

First and foremost, the writing is sloppy, the story is riddled with weak dialog and clichés, tones changes on a whim - there isn't much more to the plot than what's given in the trailer - a missing children website leading to the world of guns, secret agents, CIAs etc etc. This movie continues a trend in modern CSI-CIA-crime writing; a lack of understanding of the basic principles of technology and I guess it won't bother most people but for me the whole plot seemed rather forced.

The most disappointing thing was that the action never felt like a high grade action movie. The much vaunted stunts came out as weak and the fights were just basic B-movie stuff that would have been acceptable in an early 90s action movie. There are no big car chases and the big stadium final set-piece is bit anti-climatic since the writing couldn't cover up the basic lack of oomph in it. This is even more surprising since the director John Singleton's last movie is the ultra-violent "Four Brothers".

The man Taylor Lautner himself does his thing and manages to not look like turning into a werewolf every time. He doesn't impress with his acting or his martial arts; which begs on why he didn't insist on a full team of martial arts coaches and stunt-men to make this movie into his action star vehicle. Lily Collins as Nathan's love interest looks a bit plain jane and has no personality; and doesn't quite create the chemistry with Taylor Lautner. The train kissing scene, which we were told would leave many a girls jealous, feels more voyeuristic and uncomfortable than jealousy-inducing explosive.

I hate to say it but it feels like a quick cash in on Taylor Lautner's name and fame. Everything is so undercooked and cheap feeling with numerous blatant and obtrusive product placements that it's just a big dupe to get the Twilight fans and teenager's ticket sales before anyone realizes that this isn't a good movie.
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1/10
Wow, in a bad way.
mayuhito30 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Okay let me start off. I'm not a huge fan of any of the actors in this movie. Never really got into the whole Twilight think but I have no prejudice against a movie he plays in. I watched this movie because the commercials had looked interesting enough to me. But boy was I wrong. First off this movie was very high speed. To fast in fact that I could care less for anything that happened to the main character. First he finds his picture on a false lost and found site, then explosions everything blows up literally. He watches his fake parents die before his eyes,and he only shields two tears when he wakes from a dream,after that he pretty much disowns them calling them by first name and appearing emotionless. Then a character that should have died lives some how. This was just so unrealistic and bland that even the fighting couldn't save it. This seemed like an entire show was made just so you could catch sight of muscles. At the end all I could do was face palm and shake my head in disgust.
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1/10
Warning - You are about to lose 2 hours of your life...
elliot-barraford28 September 2012
I can't remember a move this terrible in the entirety of my life. Sometimes there are movies so bad that they're funny - this is not one of them. It's frustratingly bad because they're trying so hard to be serious.

The writing is horrendous, but not because it's bad (which it is, very much so) but because it's a collage. Every scrap of this movie is an idea cut out from another movie, then acted out poorly. Lets go through some of the list:

Contemplative while sitting at a desk scene- Check. Cute girl flirts with unattractive guy to gain access- Check. Mysterious aiding character - Check Nobody can be trusted- Check. Unfulfilled sexual attraction (with non-developed character relationship) - Check

Then you can add insane character decisions due to the unskilled writers. At one point, a character has a gun, pointed at another person holding a gun, and guess what he does? Fire the gun ? Wrong. Instead of pulling a trigger this experienced armsman decides to do a flying tackle over a counter. Good move, looks like all of that target practice paid off. Did I mention he was visibly holding the gun while tackling the 'bad guy'? Be careful, you might accidentally shoot him...

Lautner may become a leading man one day, and this movie may have been good practice, but he's definitely not ready yet.

This goes for both leading actors. Instead of actors trying to be characters, it's as if they are trying to be actors they've seen - play that part of the movie, in that other movie, that one time.

Do NOT watch this movie. I hate myself for making that decision. Don't fall victim.
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1/10
Bad, bad, bad, then worse
vlcal6127 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The movie takes place in Pennsylvania. I live in Pennsylvania. At the start of the movie the friends talk about the Pirates opening game, making it early April. It's not warm enough for pools to be open. Trees are just starting to bloom in April, the leaves would have never been that big, or dark in the beginning of April. High school wrestling would have ended by the beginning of March. And that's just the beginning of the inconsistencies. Everybody seems to find where everyone else is, and get there awfully fast. I know if I wanted to find someone, putting them on a missing children web site is the way to go. They're in Pa, they're in VA, they're in PA, and everybody knows where they are. And the bad guys never shoot when they should because they're too busy talking. I understand it's a plot device to allow the good guy time to get there and be a hero, but it's just soooo lame. The whole thing was just do lame. And the final nail in the it's really a lame movie coffin is that my husband liked it. He likes the worst movies.
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2/10
Awful... Abysmal... so bad it was funny
David Cox30 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I couldn't help but laugh at how poorly done this film was. Taylor Lautner, aka one of the worst actors of our time has really tried not at all to change that reputation...

He has managed to take his stilted, generic, or just downright awful dialogue and deliver just as you'd expect: bland, uninteresting, and pretty unemotional (his face is wet with tears, but his voice says "what do you mean I'm meant to change inflection and tone?") His performance unfortunately doesn't stand out from the veteran actors around him seem to be amiss as to how to turn around their dialogue and lack of character depth into something salvageable.

There's no amazing twists or turns, no big surprises. The plot goes along just as you'd expect it, unless you were expecting imagination. I kept laughing at Lautner's bad delivery, at the obvious clichés or stupid plot devices. It gives its twists away quite deliberately leaving nothing for the end but a poor attempt at a tear jerking introduction of Nathan's father. Some things don't even make sense, like how Nathan keeps travelling - as he's on the run, he obviously is going to try and get out of the city right? - but he can conveniently call his best friend to come meet up with him somewhere to give him things (this happens more than once in less than 24 hours. Where did he run to? Down the street?) Thank goodness the CIA didn't think to tap his friend's phone!

The entire movie seems to reek of an uninspired first draft.
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8/10
Why Do People Hate This Movie So Much..??
Allen Williams20 March 2012
This film is a prime example to why certain actors are very underrated in Hollywood....I call it "The Luke Skywalker Syndrome"....One hit franchise that wrecks a young actor's career before it can really get started....

The Twilight franchise....Although successful....Isn't a franchise that is critically acclaimed or well liked by fans other than young people with out-of-control hormones....And because of this...Films like Abduction is either overlooked or totally panned by fans...

Sitting down to watch this film with Twilight in mind is going to ensure that viewers will NOT have a good time....Which is why wonderful movies like "Welcome To The Rileys" and "The Runaways" both starring Kristen Stewart didn't get nearly enough attention....

Now is this particular film original..??...No, it's not....I have seen the "My picture on the milk carton" routine used more than once....But is Abduction a fun movie..??...Yes it is...

Abduction is a popcorn movie....It's meant to simply allow the audience to have a good time....If people go into this movie expecting Oscar-like performances and a beautifully written storyline...Then those people are setting themselves up for a big let down...

But why put yourself through that when all that needs to be done is to simply sit back and enjoy the ride....And that's all there is too it...
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4/10
Brainless and Lame Story, Poor Lead Actor
Claudio Carvalho9 November 2012
The teenager Nathan (Taylor Lautner) feels outcast at home; has nightmares; and is shy. His father practices self-defense with him; he has consultations with the psychologist Dr. Bennett (Sigourney Weaver); and he has a crush on his classmate and next door neighbor Karen (Lily Collins).

When he finds a website with photos of missing children with Karen, he suspects that he might have been adopted. He also contacts the site and the attendant locates him and calls Nikola Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist) in Europe and the guy travels with his gang to USA. Soon his mother discloses that she is his foster mother but his parents are murdered by two criminals. Before dying, her father asks him to run away. He takes Karen to the hospital and Dr. Bennett tells him that he is in danger and gives an address in Pittsburgh to him with the names of two persons that he can trust on. Now Nathan and Karen are hunted down by Kozlow and his men and also by the CIA. The teenagers do not know who is reliable and travels to the address Dr. Bennett gave to them.

"Abduction" is a thriller that wannabe another Bourne Identity-like movie. However, the brainless and lame story has many flaws and despite the cast with Sigourney Weaver, Michael Nyqvist, Maria Bello and Alfred Molina, the lead actor Taylor Lautner is a reasonable and unconvincing athlete and ruins any chance that this flick might have had. Lily Collins is gorgeous and nothing else. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Sem Saída" ("No Way Out")
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2/10
Hopelessly bland
TheLittleSongbird1 October 2011
The premise of the movie, the veteran cast and a talented director were the reasons why I wanted to see this film, despite Taylor Lautner and that the trailer looked awful. Okay, I'll give the film some credit, it is not as bad as the trailer suggested.

However, the rest is hopelessly bland. The direction is rather plodding and never really that focused. Abduction doesn't necessarily look cheap, but the editing lacks finesse and feels stilted and the camera angles often have a dry and frenzied look to it particularly in the action sequences.

The music had some decent rock tunes on its own, but they don't always suit the tone of the film. The action itself is alright, but I couldn't properly enjoy it because the editing felt very awkward and frenzied, so any skill and intimacy was lost.

Dialogue-wise, Abduction is awful. It is very laboured, cliché-ridden and doesn't flow very well at all, complete with pop-culture references that I agree will date quickly. I liked the concept of the film, but I wasn't engaged by the story. The more dramatic scenes are unemotive, stodgy and contains Abduction's most stilted moments, while the ending is anti-climatic, the beginning was cheesy and plot points are poorly incorporated and resolved. I admire films that deal with themes that people can identify with, with Abduction using isolation and loss. The film's problem however is that it doesn't do anything with them.

Abduction's acting doesn't fare much better, with nobody looking natural in their roles. Taylor Lautner(he as an actor and the Twilight films I am very indifferent to) is wooden in a very irritating sense. He doesn't have enough charisma for the action and he seems very disconnected in the dramatic elements of the film. His abs look great but that's it. Lily Collins looks wonderful, but does or is given little else beyond that. Alfred Molina is a good actor, but not given much to do, while Jason Isaacs is wasted and Sigourney Weaver tries her best but hindered by awful dialogue and a character, like everyone else in all fairness, that I didn't care for at the end of the day.

Overall, a hopelessly bland, derivative, poorly acted and stilted film. 2/10 Bethany Cox
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7/10
I never watched Twilight and never intend to
dwatson1225529 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Don't know what all the long winded hubbub is all about. I really like this movie and the entire premise. There was plenty of action and the acting was not that bad. The movie really began to hold my interest when the kid discovers that his parents are not his real parents. and confronts his mother. When soccer mom starts kicking butt I knew it was on! I know of the Twilight series but have never watched it and don't intend to. I did sell a unopened Twilight Scene it DVD game on eBay but that's as close as I have ever got to the series so I have no idea what the other reviewers are talking about. Forget all the Twilight comparisons this movie was fun to watch period.
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7/10
'Abduction' ...not bad & pretty much what you would expect
skyme17 February 2012
Watched this last night, and it was mostly what I expected. After a wonky beginning, it's generally a popcorn, action/date movie that's not exactly high-art. The film is not the worst thing you've ever seen - it's really just an escape, with a good production, and that's it.

Zillions of reviews say Lautner was horrible. Huh? I really think people are just jealous. He was fine and didn't overact - he was sincere, fit the role & there is little reason to be upset.

These reviews lacerating Lautner were like people destroying Paris Hilton from "House of Wax," when in actuality, she was honestly alright in that. Not a big deal. Granted, I don't have strong feelings about either performer.

With a strong budget of $30M, the film looked confident and solid by John Singleton, the film is a fairly easy watch as it goes along, & the supporting cast of admired actors (Weaver, Molina, Bello) were fine.

Singleton isn't too flashy, and might just be cashing a check... but one thing he would do is make sure that the actors would have their moments, instead of too many quick cutaways.

The story is kind of fun in the moment, but, sure it's silly when you think about it afterwards. But, mehh. It was fun. Nothing is horrendous about 'Abduction.' I saw two of the Twilight films and thought they were easy to watch as well & not really a big deal. And Lautner's disposition is somewhat similar in Abduction as he was in Twilight. I think that's alright & he fit the roles fine.

If I were to complain about anything is that ½ of the fighting looked good, but ½ wasn't that great. Secondly, the dialog was usually fine, but it could get so dull/ cliché I felt sorry for the actors.

Thirdly, the ending climax with the villain was just straight-forward; you really see it coming. It's not clever at all & it felt very '80s. Fourthly, some of the chasing sequences were good, but sometimes they could lack blood-pumping momentum. Despite the complaints, the film is still a fun adventure.

I'd read so many bad reviews of this film...that maybe my expectations were low. But honestly, the film was fine and kinda fun. Just an escape.
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1/10
Messy, non-sense making "movie"
hthbrr227 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers!

I wanted to watch this movie just out of sheer boredom. I thought to myself; "How bad could it be?" It was so bad that after I was done watching it my head was spinning with confusion.

The reason I was so confused was because I did not know what I had just watched. I had hoped it would be a fun movie AT LEAST; comedy, action, romance. But it was instead a mishmash of nonsense. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING made sense in this movie; the setup, the character motivations, the characters themselves, the time frame, the "plot" "twists", the ending.

So the setup is that this guy is not sure if his parents are his real parents. Is this guy stupid!? He looks NOTHING like EITHER of them! Wow! His skin is darker than them too! And what a cheap way for him to happen upon this website that shows him he was adopted. It was a class assignment! Wow!

Now to the character motivations. So these two adoptive parents spent THEIR WHOLE LIVES to kept this kid secret so that some list would not get out? They died for that? And this guy who was adopted what does he care? His fake parents are loving, and he is living a great life!

Now the characters themselves. How in the HELL can this adopted guy NOT have the CONFIDENCE to talk to this uni-browed girl? He is beyond in- shape, happy, social, on teams, etc... But he is "awkward" with the ladies? Huh? And what's so special about this girl? Also when they killed his adoptive parents how did no one come to help? This seems like a wealthy neighborhood. They have NO security!? NO ONE cares? You'd think that TWO CIA agents would invest in SOME kind of security. They raised this kid! They have had just about TWO DECADES to prepare for this. But did they? No. None of these people make sense.

Time frame: this movie, after the adoptive parents are killed, seems to take place in two days. They sleep near some river then the rest of the movie takes place in daylight. During the credits we see the guy and the girl limping off into the sunset. OK... so, they ran away to a hospital, then went to some house, then on a train - going where? It's never really explained. Then it's like noon in the stadium, they run around and suddenly a couple of HOURS have passed. Can't be more than an hour. Not much occurs as the whole thing was a chase then a small convo, so it's fast.

Now to the so called "plot" "twists." I put them in quotations since there really is no plot for this movie. Check the summary on IMDb it just DESCRIBES the first half of the movie! All that happens in this movie is that it jumps from one insane thing to another. First we think this guy is a daredevil. Next we see he is a drunk. Next we are told he can't talk to girls. Now we are led to believe he is a nice guy. Then he becomes a target for a worldwide conspiracy. He could not even defeat his adoptive father but now we must believe he can kick @$$ and take names. Earlier in the movie the girl tells the guy that she is not doing all the work for the group project. Meaning he is a stupid slacker, but we are next to believe that he is a master of mind games and ruffing it. We are to believe that he can outwit and outrun: the CIA, the police, professional hit men, and a group of hackers. Throughout the movie we are led to believe that the world is against this boy. Yet the end wraps up so nicely that you are left saying WTF!? So this ONE guy is the only corruption? Umm, what? So they just take him away at the end? No handcuffs even?

It really seems as if the writers wrote the movie AS they were shooting it. In this age of twitter, exclusives, scoops, gossip mags, leaks, and paparazzi were the creators worried that the plot might leak so they wrote it as they went!? Or were they just lazy? Because if you were to watch the movie again NONE of what happened will make sense. I would like to re-watch the movie to make sure. But the acting was so HORRIBLE that it's not even worth it!
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3/10
A movie that's as badly directed as it is acted.
NIck Bassett29 September 2011
Lautner plays Nathan, a seventeen year old guy who seems to live two separate lives. He is the popular adrenaline-seeking kid who rides to school on car bonnets, gets drunk at house parties, and has unspoken feelings for the girl next door, Karen - overacted here by Lily Collin. He's basically Mr 90210, with less cash.

But then there is the other side to Nathan. Behind closed doors, he regularly spars with his father in physical battles that become increasingly aggressive and relentless. He also suffers from insomnia and bouts of rage, issues that he discusses with his therapist, Dr Bennett (Weaver) in regular counselling sessions. In short, he is a mixed up young man.

And if life wasn't tough already, it's about to deal him one more major bad hand. When assigned to work with Karen on a project about missing kids, Nathan's life comes crashing down around him, when he sees his face staring back from one of the ads. Suddenly he has to deal with the fact that his parents aren't who they say they are, that his whole life is built upon a lie, and that everything he thought he knew, he didn't.

It's no surprise then, that he is rather preoccupied by the time the bad guys arrive to get him. Men with guns turn up, Nathan does a runner with lusty Karen in tow, and what ensues is a cat and mouse chase across the country. It usually sees the youngsters get to one place, a phone call gets tapped, and then they move on. Then some foreign guy turns up to beat them up, they beat him up. They move on. It's quite straightforward really. Predictable to a 't'.

That's not to say that it's not entertaining. Remember in the '90s, those action movies where the ability to act was a 'would like', and the ability to kick the asses of Eastern European villains was a 'must have'?

Well, those action movies were EVERYWHERE. A corrupt government or body take on one guy who is pretty good at high kicks, and which typically ended in some mass chase-cum-action sequence, set in a massive public forum such as a football game or a crowded theatre.

That is the standard of movie we're talking here. And if we consider Lautner's performance at that level, then he didn't do too badly at all. He may still have the acting prowess of Joey Tribbiani from 'Friends', but there's also something rather watchable about him.But, my guess is that this wasn't supposed to be seen as a B movie. It feels like a botched attempt to put together a Bourne movie aimed at the teen market. But the Bourne movies appealed to the teen market, so why dumb the formulae down? One of the big failings of 'Abduction' is that rationale and reason becomes so diluted, that you have to throw all common sense out of the window, for this movie to hold together.

But that's the least of the worries. By far, the biggest problem with this movie was the script and direction which was absolutely diabolical.

The camera work seems very lazy. When chatting with his therapist, the camera just pans back and forth, back and forth between Nathan and Dr Bennett, as if the man behind the lens is filming a wedding. Scenes in the gym with the Nathan and his pals, have so much happening on screen that you don't know who to look at. But with Lautner skipping up and down off centre, in a vest and short combo, you can imagine where my eyes were focused.

The worst part - or funniest part, depending on how I look at it - was that you never felt you were watching a natural performance from anyone involved. It felt SO staged throughout. In fact, this is the first time that I have watched a movie at the cinema and literally felt like I could input the director's comments at every appropriate moment.

"Taylor, hold her in your arms. Kiss her head. Now look up to the sky." What makes me feel like this is more a direction fault is that it was not exclusive to Lautner. Even acting legend, Sigourney Weaver moves like a spasmodic marionette, and whilst she delivers her dialogue, there is no real emotion behind them.

With lines like "I hate balloons" followed by a dramatic pause, you can understand why she might not be investing everything in to this rather underused character. But if she wasn't happy with the script, she'd have not taken the role.

The romance between the two youngsters is supposed to be fledgling and, to give them their dues, there is chemistry there. However, when the pair aren't getting amorous, the dialogue is laboured and riddled with clichés that leave you either laughing out loud, or cringing in to your seat.

Karen: Two days ago, we were high school kids. That seems like a lifetime ago.

Nathan: That's because…(pause)…it was.

As the pace picks up, Lautner actually leaves the cocksure Nathan behind him, which comes as a relief, and indeed shows some actual character progression. A few big bangs, and action sequences are thrown in to the mix and those also help to maintain general interest levels, entertaining the audience for fleeting moments in time.

However the final denouement is a real let down. No originality. No risk. No surprise. The bog standard, by-the-book ending is as lazy as the direction and I left the cinema feeling a little bit cheated. If 'Abduction' had presented itself as the kind of movie that it ended up being, I'd have known what I was letting myself in for. This is a no-frills B-Movie. Don't let the supporting cast make you think otherwise.
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7/10
A 'watchable' movie!
M Smith26 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
**Small spoilers**

Why are there so very many BAD reviews?? Is this movie truly so very bad or do we simply have a bunch of Twilight haters amongst us? I hope there will be a time when we all can grow up and get over ourselves and jump off the 'lets bash all things Twilight' wagon and start reviewing one movie at the time because its simply unfair to incorporate ones own bias into whatever report we share on the www. Let's start over and assume…Lautner to be a brand new actor with no association to vampires or werewolves and a small town in the beautiful state of WA. Suddenly we can see Abduction for what it is. An action thriller with a heavy dose of martial arts, cunning stunts and an unfortunately overused 'sexation' of a young man who admittedly acts rather clumsy with his love interest and has a few unnecessary kissing scenes which were in part also placed rather poorly by the director. Overall however Abduction is a good 'watchable' film which reminded me a bit of Bourne Identity and Wanted with the misfortune of having been aimed at a (female) teenage audience. And so we grown-ups have to put up with the unnecessary swipe of the strand of hair in the woods which he does for no reason at all and the odd statement of, "hey, I'm hungry!" just as things were heating up in the get-away train. All of the 'Oh so' dissatisfied adults here who claim they want their time and money back, let me ask you seriously, what did you expect from this movie? Maybe watching a preview had been a good choice here. Abduction did not promise anything it didn't deliver, so quit bashing a very talented and likable young man and don't blame the teen flick for being a teen flick!
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All round terrible.
Troy_Campbell6 October 2011
I'll admit it, I thought the trailer for this action-thriller looked pretty good and, despite it being a Taylor Lautner vehicle, was quietly excited about seeing it. Well why shouldn't I have been? It stars legendary thespians Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina, as well as respected actors Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello. And the close quarters combat looked appealing too. I figured it couldn't be too bad. I was wrong. Way wrong. One of the worse blockbusters to grace our cinemas in recent times, Abduction demonstrates just how poor a film can be when those involved are only there for the money. The aforementioned veteran cast are positively woeful, John Singleton's direction is stilted and lead star Lautner (you may know him as Jacob from Twilight) has a long way to go before he will make a decent headliner. With crappy special effects and a forgettable soundtrack, this is all round terrible.
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