a critiQal film review Abduction (2011)

Plot: Nathan (Lautner) discovers the parents who raised him aren't his real folks, a revelation that triggers events that leave him running for his life.

354 words (Est. Reading Time 1m 46s)
  • ...thanks to director Singleton, Lautner's first foray out of his wolf persona isn't as bad as expected.

When I first heard about the new teen thriller Abduction, I wasn’t exactly thrilled, since it stars Taylor Lautner, one of those awful Twilight (2008) actors. But, after watching the trailer, I was intrigued, despite myself. Sure, not enough to see it in theaters, but maybe, once it hit DVD…well, I figured I might give it a try.

So, would Lautner prove to be just the pretty boy crap actor the Twilight films have promoted to death, or would he actually be able to make Abduction worth my while?

As expected, Lautner isn’t the best of actors – but, surprisingly, he’s not as bad as one might expect. Sure, his ridiculous pretty boy arrogance shows through in every sequence of Abduction and he’s a bit stiff when it comes to the romantic stuff – and occasionally through some of the typical dialogue of this type of film – but he does manage to keep the viewer on his side throughout the movie almost in spite of himself.

His co-stars range from decent (Sigourney Weaver – always a pleasure to see on screen – and Maria Bello, although she gets a bit weepy) to so-so (bad guy Michael Nyqvist is a bit too stunted in his acting in this cardboard cutout of a role), with varying degrees in-between, with not everyone living up to expectations (Alfred Molina, as a CIA agent, is such a disappointment).

While the film plays out as a bit of a paint-by-numbers on-the-run flick – including the obligatory make-out sequences for it’s young stars – director John Singleton manages to make that formula work well, presenting a slick, fast-paced film that doesn’t give viewers time to doubt the stars. Sure, it gets hokey in parts, but overall, Singleton does a solid job of keeping the viewer on their toes once the action kicks in.

Sure, there are a bunch of young actors out there who could have done this better than Lautner, but for his first (and possibly only) foray outside the world of Twilight (2008), Abduction isn’t as bad as expected – thanks, in large part, to director Singleton.

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