|I wish this was my reaction to Abduction|
Abduction begins with Nathan (Taylor Lautner) being one crayzee dude, riding on the hood of his buddy's truck the entire way to a huge house party. Whoa, man! That shows attitude and baditude! This movie has character development coming out its ears! And it has great dialogue, too.
|Example: "He who smelt it dealt it"|
Oh. My. Goodness. This movie is awful. It's not just that Taylor Lautner is incapable of mimicking human emotion, there is so much more that is wrong with Abduction. For starters, let's look at the conspiracy that is in place. The basic premise here is that Nathan is
Thankfully, Abduction has many instances where that logic seems downright plausible, when compared to the rest of the movie. Let's say that you're the CIA agent (played by Alfred Molina) tasked with tracking down Nathan before the terrorists. Ignoring the fact that the CIA probably wouldn't legally lead a manhunt on US soil for a non-terrorist American citizen, let's say that you finally catch up with the boy: what do you do? Take him to a secure location? Bug out of the area as quickly as possible, because the terrorists are close behind? Give him a disguise and help him go underground?
apply for a job in the CIA. Not surprisingly, "D" turns out to be a poor choice. The odd logic of Abduction doesn't stop there, but getting any more in-depth will just give me a headache.
The acting in Abduction suffers from the presence of its two leads. This is the first time I have seen Taylor Lautner on screen for more than a few moments and he is just shockingly bad. I'll give him some credit; it appears that he can memorize most of his dialogue. But he's just awful! You know how most actors will show emotion in their parts, and will carry that emotion from dialogue chunk to dialogue chunk or even (if they're mildly competent) from scene to scene? That ability is light years beyond what this guy can pull off convincingly. I hope he invests that Twilight money wisely, because he won't be on the cover of Tiger Beat forever. Lily Collins isn't as bad as Lautner, but she's still a long way off from being good here. Granted, her character is written as a typical girl-next-door crush, but she's awkward and whiny and...well...okay, maybe she acts like a real none-too-bright teen would in a similarly outlandish situation. That still doesn't make her pleasant to watch or explain the caterpillars on her face.
|Maybe she's trying to reform Oasis?|
|The blank stare of evil|
Abduction was directed by John "I was relevant in 1991" Singleton, although "directed" might be a strong term. Sure, part of the fault lies with the paper-thin script from first-time full-feature screenwriter Shawn Christensen, but Singleton is simply a hack here. Do you like goofy editing (best example: the reveal of the CGI-aged Nathan)? How about poor use of camera tricks? And one-dimensional acting?
|Literally phoning it in|
Does anything go right in Abduction? Well...it's not so bad that you spend the movie hating everyone involved. It's utter crap, though, make no mistake.
Here are a few of my favorite moments from Abduction:
- One of the reasons Nathan is convinced that he was abducted is because he recognized the shirt in the maybe-him child photo on the website. Okay, fine. To prove his suspicions are correct, Nathan looks for and finds this unremarkable, fifteen-plus years old shirt in a matter of minutes. So...A) his "parents" held on to his pre-abducted belongings? B) a teenager knows exactly where his toddler clothes are stored and remembers them, down to the stains? C) his family held on to his toddler clothes instead of giving them away or selling them at garage sales, like every other American family?
- When Nathan asks his "mom" if she is his mother, she says "...No." Well, that was easy.
- Terrorists looking to kidnap Nathan place a bomb in the kitchen oven, and it is working on a timer. Maybe they should have acted like they were in a hurry then, hmm?
- Abduction is amazing with the ridiculous amounts of perfect timing and manhours used by the CIA. A phone call to 911 goes directly to the CIA, without an operator putting Nathan on hold. Within moments of being spotted on a security camera, underlings are on the scene, giving chase. And yet...two dumb teenagers manage to avoid capture for days.
- The bad guy threatened to kill all of Nathan's Facebook friends.
- My wife summed up the first half of the movie with "also, so far, Taylor Lautner's a dick."
- The bad guy steals Nathan's gun by reaching just under his crotch in a quick and sneaky manner.
- The movie ends with a Train song. Because the movie wasn't bad enough on its own.