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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 [email protected] and let me know what you
thought of my review.*
Tags for Abduction Full Movie
, Ken Arnold
, Maria Bello
, Oriah Acima Andrews
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