Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Abduction (2011)

Director: John Singleton
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Nyqvist, Nickola Shreli, Elisabeth Rohm, Antonique Smith, Denzel Whitaker

Nathan Harper (Lautner) is your typical teenager, rebellious and wanting to spend time with his mates, his booze and checking out pretty girls. Having trouble with recurring nightmares of the same woman being killed, he keeps things intact thanks to the help of attached psychiatrist Geri Bennett (Weaver). Forced to do a report on missing children, teamed with his crush Karen (Collins), he discovers a photograph of Steven Price who looks oddly like himself. Could he be Steven Price? Are his parents (Isaacs and Bello) really who they say they are? And what's with all the fighting skills his father keeps teaching him?

Low-brow thriller made for Lautner, inbetween making Twilight movies, doesn't start things off well. Firstly is a terrible script and its handling by Singleton (who I'm surprised didn't invite a more eclectic cast) and an underachieving lead actor who can only portray the emotions of happiness, bewilderment and 'taking his shirt off'. While Lautner is terrible, I can't blame him entirely for the film as there are more than a few anti-climactic moments where nothing lives up to what it could or should.

Surrounded by a terrific cast, Isaacs in particular is missed after his moment in the sun. Weaver and Nyqvist, whom you should remember from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, are both wasted in second-rate roles. Dermot Mulroney appears briefly as Lautner's real father (hoping I didn't spoil it for you). What has the makings of a decent movie could have been saved had filmmakers these days spent time developing a worthwhile story and sending good-looking people who can't act to an actors school. Think about it, next time.


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