John Singleton is the director of the new action/drama film Abduction which is currently showing in cinemas. Singleton has directed (produced and written) legendary films such as Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Boyz n the Hood, so I was excited to see what Abduction had to offer. The plot is about a teenager, Nathan (Taylor Lautner) who finds out his parents (Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs) are not his real parents when he is assigned a school sociology project and he discovers a photo of himself as a child on a missing persons website. His parents are then killed by assassins and this triggers events where Nathan is chased by the CIA and Russian agents whilst he is in search of finding out the truth.
The film starts off convincingly as we get to see Lautner’s typical teenage character leading a fairly normal life, going to a party and getting so drunk he wakes up the next morning sprawled out on a lawn half naked. As Twilight fans will know, Taylor taking of his shirt is a natural occurrence. However as the film unravels Lautner’s acting doesn’t really seem to grow and he certainly struggles with the emotional scenes. In my opinion they didn’t feel believable and it felt like the connection he was meant to have with co-star Lily Collins, who plays Karen, just wasn’t quite there. Maybe this is something that comes with age and experience but maybe it’s just that his martial arts background is stronger than his acting.
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The cast is quite impressive with established actors and actresses such as Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina and Michael Nyqvist, however it was such a shame that they were not featured more. Weaver only had a couple of appearences and we definitely did not get to see enough of Michael Nyqvist. The main focus of the film throughout is Lautner, which would have been more captivating if some of the stronger actors had more significant roles.
What this movie does give you is a fast-paced chase throughout. I have to say that for all the negative points, I was captured by some impressive stunts and Lautner’s natural martial arts ability. Taylor’s skills are definitely shown off and it can be difficult for actors to break out into another role when their first main appearance is stereo-typed by an extremely popular trilogy.
I definitely think this film would be more appealing to teenagers with some cheesy lines and a good-looking young cast. It’s been described as Bourne-lite, but in comparison to any of the Bourne films it does not even begin to fill Jason’s shoes.
Words: Serena Butterworth