Bourne to run – Abduction review

Abduction – Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins and Alfred Molina. Directed by John Singleton. Rated M. By Simon Miraudo.

Hollywood loves telling us who the big new movie stars are. Sam Worthington and Ryan Reynolds have both recently been given lead roles in tentpole blockbusters, and audiences have responded as enthusiastically as an infant getting their first vaccination. “Who is this stranger, and why is my mother telling me this is for my own good … Ow! That sucked! That really, really sucked.” (Side note: obviously, vaccinations are good for infants. Please do not take this metaphor too literally.) Taylor Lautner, the frequently shirtless breakout star of those Twilight films, is the latest action hero to be forced down our throats. Sure, he has a built-in audience, thanks to the immense success of the Young Adult franchise that shot him into the stratosphere. But is it the right audience for a Bournelite imitator like John Singleton’s Abduction? Last I checked, tweenage girls weren’t too keen on this genre, and the boys who normally would be a fan will likely be disappointed by its bloodless, stagnant lameness.

In a bold move, our protagonist Nathan (Lautner) is established early in the film as a jerk; he sits on the bonnet of a car, whooping and hollering as his friends speed down the open roads of Pittsburgh. At a party, he drinks and guffaws obnoxiously, almost starts a fight, and, of course, wakes up shirtless on the front yard the next day. Later, he and the pouty girl next door Karen (Lily Collins) visit a missing children website for a school project, and joke about how ugly the kids are. The missing kids. That’s really unnecessarily mean. Whilst browsing the site, Nathan spots a photo of a three-year-old that resembles himself as a child. Helpfully, it offers a predicted composite of what that kid would look like today and … well, you get where this is going. Before Nathan can discover the truth about his identity, his fake-parents (the wonderful, vibrant Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello) are dispatched by assassins, sending the teenager and his love interest on a hunt for the truth. Also, Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina play CIA agents who are either trying to help or hurt them. It’s not important.

Actually, none of this plot is important. Despite the presence of so many talented character actors (including Swede Michael Nyqvist, who, as the main villain, reels off exposition in English as if he’s reading it off a crazy-fast teleprompter), this whole project seems purely a vehicle to showcase Lautner’s skills. “Skills?” You know, like, backflips and stuff. Admittedly, he does get an opportunity to show off some physical prowess in a rather cool final stunt, reminiscent of Jackie Chan’s biggie from Police Story. Otherwise, any awesome moves he may have are hidden beneath Singleton’s cluttered direction, which alternates between frantic to the point of incoherence, and sluggishly lackluster. And frankly, the moves are all Lautner has. Shawn Christensen’s screenplay has some pretty cringe-worthy lines, and it doesn’t help that the star relays them in such a literal, nuance-free manner. He’s not fun, he’s not funny, he’s not charming, and he doesn’t seem all that tortured. He even struggles to convincely play a teenager, and he is one. Also, all those abs and biceps and glutes and what-have-yous make him look a little unnatural; like that Little Hercules kid that used to always be on Ripley’s Believe it or Not. The lesson here: next to Robert Pattinson, anyone can convince you they’re a charismatic and talented actor.


Check out Simon’s other reviews here.

Abduction is now showing in Australian cinemas.

7 Responses to “Bourne to run – Abduction review”

  1. I’ve never considered Mr. Lautner to posses the emotional capacity as, say, an actor. His face seems reminiscent of a brick wall, none of their features move no matter how many times you try convincing them. They’re both hard, firm, unmovable. I just wonder why he fears showing any passion for his role. I do love Jacob from Twilight… until Breaking Dawn.


  2. He’s the weakest link in the Twilight series. Bad actor and I actually think Rob is a good actor lay off !

  3. Compared to Robert Pattinson he’s good? Um no. Taylor Lautner, while I respect how hard he worked to get the role in New Moon, cannot act. Robert Pattinson can. Whether you hate Edward or not. I think the Twilight movies are okay, but I think people have strangely decided Robert Pattinson can’t act with no real reasoning behind it. Kind of like the Leonardo Dicaprio hate bandwagon after Titanic. These days, I think you’d look and sound pretty foolish to say Leo can’t act. That said, Pattinson is actually quite good in a lot of his roles and has a lot of potential. Unfortunately for Lautner, and I do feel bad for the kid, does not. He really is just painful to watch in a movie. Too bad. And I’m sure if I ever see this movie, I’ll agree with the rest of your review.

  4. Shut up about Pattinson! Hes exellent Actor!

  5. Lol all the Pattinson fans getting butthurt someone said Lautner is a better actor. Get over it. HE IS. Robert Pattinson cannot act to save his life. He is painful. He ruined Water for Elephants, a great book, with that painful monotone. Taylor may have some learning and experience to get, but he has more talent in his little toe than Pattinson. Taylor Lautner is seriously the only good thing about Twilight. Besides, what are you all doing here? Last time I checked this post was about Taylor. Lol go and find a pattinson post somewhere. No-one cares for him here. Sorry. Just my opinion 🙂

  6. Sorry, but Rob was Excellent in WFE…

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