Abduction fails to impress
Culture / October 12, 2011
By Mike Shames
[senior entertainment writer]
The flick known as Abduction has abducted my money and demanded that I sit through an hour and 40 minutes of mediocre crap. To get the obvious question out of the way, Taylor Lautner stars as Nathan Price, or rather, Jacob Black minus the turning into a slobbering mutt. There is nothing new about this character. Nathan’s story arc is in essence Jacob’s – they even kept the anger issues, though this character is much more believable as a teenager then previous roles. He doesn’t turn into “super spy” when bullets start flying, and he doesn’t get blue-balled as badly as puppy-boy. Also, there is a wider range of emotions to this character and Lautner does a decent job of selling the part. But again, nothing new and nothing spectacular.
The love interest is, for the most part, forgettable, thus no mention of her name is in this review. But she isn’t completely useless either. She doesn’t do as the man tells her to, she is resourceful enough to get out of a jam and assist our protagonist. But she isn’t any different from any other action flick heroine, she’s the semi-strong and useful archetype.
The villains are just cookie cutter archetypes as well, and as equally memorable as the girl. The one fault is the Eastern European bad guy with barely any accent, half the time it sounds like a lisp and the other half he’s American. There are all sorts of spies and a massive build up to some shadowy figure that ends up as more of a cop out/cock tease. The only memorable character besides Lautner is Sigourney Weaver, who has a fairly minor role.
The plot revolves around a MacGuffin that was stolen by the shadowy cop-out, who is related to Nathan, which the various bad guys want back for whatever reason. As a result, Nathan’s supposed parents are executed and he runs off with the girl, not knowing who to trust. Again, it’s unoriginal and uninteresting.
One final problem is the rehashing of shots from the Twilight series. There are a few scenes that seem like they were stolen directly from one of those movies and they just place Lautner and the girl into it. Granted they are more interesting and talented than the boring snobs who originally tried the scenes, but it’s kind of sad when you’re stealing from that saga.
The movie’s redeeming quality is consistency. The action is consistently good, the suspense isn’t great but is still there. The characters get hurt and the injuries remain over the course of the film, and they aren’t invulnerable to death either. Even the cock tease character, as annoying as it is, remains in the shadows, and this seems like something the person would do. There are some funny bits thrown in for good measure. But again, all this seems to be pulled out of a box and set up in a very specific arrangement.
Overall, Abduction is “meh” at best. Guys will like the action, and girls will swoon over Jacob/Nathan. But for the most part, it’s crap unless you see it on cheap night. Then it hurts a little less.