"“It just stinks of being an easy pay-check for the filmmakers…”"
If ever there has been an example of a director getting steadily worse over the course of a career, it’s that of John Singleton. As his films continue to be made somewhat sporadically, with Abduction his first for six years, the man who brought us the timeless classic Boyz in the Hood, is releasing arguably his worst picture yet, as Abduction leaves you feeling disgruntled and irritated with the state of current Hollywood blockbusters.
It tells the story of youngster Nathan (Taylor Lautner) who finds his picture on a missing-persons website. This sudden revelation followed by the instantaneous murder of his supposed parents (Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello), pushes Nathan, along with his teenage crush Karen (Lily Collins – yes, the daughter of Phil), to set out to discover the truth behind his fraudulent life, whilst having to avoid merciless criminals in the meantime, who are desperately attempting to track down the juvenile, whom is seemingly fighting a battle too big for him to undertake.
It’s actually a decent premise for a film. The idea of a young, ordinary man discovering everything in his life has been a lie, resulting in him voyaging out to discover the truth, has potential for a good action movie; I’ve certainly seen worse stories pulled off. However, thanks to a terrible corny script and a long-winded, perplexing conclusion, it makes for a disappointing feature, with very few encouraging aspects.
The first five minutes are truly awful, but as the films picks up pace, so does the experience for the viewer, as the storyline becomes remotely interesting. I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t want to find out what would become of Nathan, and why all of this madness and violence had occurred. However, whenever it does become moderately exciting, it’s soon ruined by a clichéd scenario of some sort. The film’s tagline being the worst truism of all: “The fight for the truth will be the fight of his life.”
It’s quite badly acted as well. Lautner brings very little to his part, bar an athletic torso, and his character, despite the shenanigans going on within his life, has very little depth or personality. And, if I’m going to condemn Singleton’s efforts and say I had expected better, then much of the same can be said for Sigourney Weaver, playing Nathan’s psychiatrist Dr. Bennett. Her character is worst of all, with some terribly redundant lines, combined with a smarmy Hollywood gaze, making for a laughable cameo performance.
It is also highly anticlimactic. Like any typical action thriller, it builds up to a big finale, as you wonder what will become of Nathan, and how or when he will come face-to-face with the bad guys or his real father. However, what prevails is uninteresting and monotonous, being too obvious and formulaic.
It just stinks of being an easy pay-check for the filmmakers, and yet another dull action movie for us to pick holes in. And, on a petty side-note, I’ve had a long think about it, and I still can’t work out where the Abduction bit comes into it at all.