Published Sep 22, 2011Two decades ago, director John Singleton came blazing into the film world with groundbreaking works such as Boyz N the Hood and Higher Learning, both of which were loaded with controversial social commentary. In spite of the fact that Singleton has been struck with the "mainstream action" bug the past ten years, Four Brothers and Shaft were still as entertaining as they were glossy. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his latest directorial effort, as Abduction is in the running for worst movie of the year, as well as worst in Singleton's career.
If you already don't know, Abduction is Hollywood's first attempt at making Taylor Lautner (the famous topless werewolf rebound from the Twilight franchise) into a leading action star. The film starts off by introducing viewers to Nathan (Lautner), a typical high school senior who unwittingly stumbles upon a website for missing children and sees a photo of a boy that looks just like him.
Not having the common sense or mental capacity to recognize himself as a kid, Nathan and high school crush Karen (Lily Collins) view a mock up of what the child would look like as a teenager and lo and behold, the picture looks remarkably like Nathan.
From that point on, Nathan sets out to get the truth from his parents (Maria Bello and Jason Issacs), only to witness their murders by goons led by an assassin named Kozlow (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's Michael Nyqvist). Afterwards, Nathan and Karen are on the run and must fight to stay alive, with unintentionally hilarity following them.
Taylor Lautner is skilled at three things: smiling, taking off his top for no reason and fighting. Although there's plenty of that shown in the film, there are also many moments where Lautner actually attempts to act and emote without squinting his eyes, and it becomes unbearable to watch. Audience members will feel compelled to laugh at Nathan's most crucial moments onscreen, especially when he starts questioning if his Caucasian parents adopted him or watching his reaction to their deaths.
Regrettably, what's even more painful to view are the supporting roles played by competent actors. Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina and even Dermot Mulroney (who has a "Kiefer Sutherland in Phone Booth"-like cameo) deserve more than starring in this tween version of 1995's Fair Game.
Watching Abduction is like watching Paris Hilton and Snooki play backgammon together: after a while, no move makes any sense. After watching an awkwardly shot almost sex scene between Nathan and Karen, it becomes abundantly clear that Abduction was made simply to titillate tween girls instead of being the action thriller it could have been. (Maple)