johnlink ranks ABDUCTION (2011)

Don’t consider me a Taylor Lautner fan. I did see the first TWILIGHT in the interest of not panning something I had never seen. Let’s just say, I’m not going to be revisiting the series anytime soon. There are generally a couple of genres which teens can be successful in, and the paranoid suspense film is one of them. DISTURBIA is a prime example of this. Because of those quality films, I tend to give anything in the genre a shot. Of course this burns me more than it rewards me, but hey… that’s life.

I watched ABDUCTION (2011) on 9.16.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

The plan for this movie, seemingly, was to throw money at some mildly large name actors to do a couple of days. All the people who fall into this category are solid actors who give respectable enough performances. The idea, I suppose, was that some of this talent might rub off on Lautner, or at least make him look good. The results are mixed, though this is not a bad movie.

Lautner plays Nathan, a high school senior who is misunderstood (I guess) and sometimes gets himself into mild trouble, or at least the sort of mild trouble rich kids get into: the kind with no real consequences. His parents are played by Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello, both solid actors who are effective in their roles here. Nathan’s shrink (because nothing says ‘I’m normal just like you’ like having a shrink at 17) is played by Sigourney Weaver who, more than anyone else in this, appears to know she is in a movie well below her talents. Also making a decent turn is Alfred Molina, as someone who ends up chasing Nathan around the country.

Nathan learns, fairly early, that his parents are not what they seem. The confrontation leads to an escape and a lot of people chasing after him. Fortunately, his neighbor/childhood-crush Karen (Lily Collins) saw some of what happened, and she ends up on the run with him. This gives plenty of time for them to look lovingly at each other and make out a couple of times.

Again, this isn’t horrendous. The first act twist was truly a surprise for me. The chase scenes and the action is pleasing enough. The characters are likable, if entirely one-dimensional. The script is this movie’s downfall, but ABDUCTION succeeds in being entertaining in spite of the writing.

The treatment must have been okay, because the plot has a nice flow, and a nice concept. Like I said, the first act twist really did surprise. But the dialogue, the specific vignettes that occur, the way characters react to adversity… it’s all just either cliché or underdeveloped.

Nathan looks at Karen in the first scene. Karen’s boyfriend doesn’t like it, so he bumps into Nathan on his way by. They argue about who bumped who, and who’s going to do something about it. I mean, it is literally page one of the cliché handbook. At the film’s climax, something is learned about a character. We learn they might not have been a good person. Only, noone seems really upset by this. The person’s partner has literally no reaction at all to the news. It’s absurd.

Directed by John Singleton (FOUR BROTHERS, POETIC JUSTICE, BOYZ N THE HOOD), there is almost no attention to detail. This feels like an espionage movie made by people who once read a book about espionage and then decided to ignore who real life works. In that sense, this is a movie which doesn’t deliver on its promise.

Is it entertaining to watch once? Sure. Would I hate it if I watched it again? Probably.





~ by johnlink00 on September 17, 2012.

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