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Abduction - Review


Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

TAYLOR Lautner’s first lead role may come backed with some heavyweight supporting cast members but it’s a lightweight affair at best.

A run-of-the-mill chase movie with teen romance elements, it falters under a creaky premise and a laughably banal script.

Lautner plays disaffected teen Nathan whose feelings of being an outsider are exacerbated by the discovery of a baby photo of himself on a missing person’s website while trawling the Internet for a school project.

But within moments of ‘mum and dad’ (Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs) coming clean about his adoption assassins enter his home and wipe out the family, forcing him and neighbour Karen (Lily Collins) to go on the run while attempting to work out his true identity.

Heading the chasing pack, meanwhile, are a Swedish villain (Michael Nyqvist) and a CIA man (Alfred Molina), while a sympathetic psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) also lends a helping hand.

High calibre cast aside, Abduction is an extremely silly film indeed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even have the good grace to realise it.

Rather, by playing things for maximum authenticity John Singleton’s film draws unintentional laughs from a script that sees Weaver uttering corny psycho-analysis while Lautner rejects his ‘parents’ one minute, mourns their loss the next and still finds time to develop a full-on coming-of-age romance with some of the world’s most dangerous assassins on his inexperienced tail. It’s just lucky that Dad taught him some fighting skills!

Lautner, for his part, acquits himself well during the set pieces and throws himself into the numerous stunts but is found wanting during the more emotional stuff. Whether that’s down to his own shortcomings or the script is open to debate given the poor quality of the lines he has to speak.

Collins, too, fails to rise much above eye candy level in a film that consistently squanders the talents of those it has assembled (and Nyqvist in particular).

Of the action sequences, a fight on a train stands out but pales by comparison to the 007 benchmark it seeks to emulate, while the big finale underwhelms right down to its unshowy cameo from Nathan’s real dad.

Rather, the film once more opts to go for cheesy and groan inducing in the hope of setting up a possible franchise rather than anything really lasting or memorable.

Lautner had best take the money and run into something a little more worthwhile… unless this really is his level.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 106mins
UK Release Date: September 28, 2011