Thursday, September 22, 2011

ABDUCTION - ABS-olutely For Lautner Fans

ABDUCTION (mystery drama)
Cast: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Antonique Smith and Denzel Whitaker
Director: John Singleton
Screenplay by Shawn Christensen and Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * 1/2 (out of 4)

Lautner and Collins in ABDUCTION

PREAMBLE: If you are a female teenage fan of Twilight, there is probably only one thing you need to know about this movie: yes, lead star Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt at the slightest excuse to show off those washboard abs.

For those who are not interested in Lautner, I am afraid there's nothing in Abduction for you - unless you like half-baked spy thrillers, lame acting and asinine script.

SYNOPSIS: When high school student Nathan Price (Taylor Lautner) stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website, he realises that his parents (Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs) are not his own and his life is a lie. As Nathan starts to search for his true identity and his biological parents, he is being targeted by a team of rogue agents, forcing him to flee with his neighbour, Karen (Lily Collins, right). He begins to realise that his fabricated life is hiding a dangerous truth.

HITS & MISSES: In writing this screenplay, I suspect that scripters Shawn Christensen and Jeffrey Nachmanoff must have pieced together ideas from The Bourne Identity and the recent Hanna - and come out with this harebrained plot. But then the truth is that director John Singleton and the film-makers do not care about the plot: they just want an excuse to show heart-throb Lautner and Collins on the run from some baddies (who included Swedish icon Michael Nyqvist of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) in order to film some action sequences.

Indeed, many films have gotten away with idiotic plots - provided they have stars that audiences could root for. Alas, Lautner seems incapable of having more than a couple of expressions and he can't act to save his life. Neither can Collins despite the strong support of veterans like Sigourney Weaver (as Nathan's shrink) and Alfred Molina (as a CIA exec). All through the first half, Singleton keeps the audience wondering why Nathan is being chased and in the second half, his aim must be to keep them from walking out of the cineplex.

THE LOWDOWN: ABSolutely for Lautner fans.


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