Main cast: Taylor Lautner (Nathan Harper/Steven Price), Lily Collins (Karen Murphy), Jason Isaacs (Kevin Harper), Maria Bello (Mara Harper), Michael Nyqvist (Nikola Kozlow), Dermot Mulroney (Martin Price), Sigourney Weaver (Dr Geraldine Bennett), and Alfred Molina (Frank Burton)
Director: John Singleton
When I can stop laughing, I can concede that Abduction is, at the very least, mercifully short as it clocks in at about 1 hour and 5 minutes. If we add in commercials, this is just the right length for a bad TV movie, which is what it actually is.
Taylor Lautner “plays” a kid named Nathan Harper, who tries very hard to convince me that he is a party guy as he hangs out with his two fellow awkward wannabe friends and goes, “Yeah! Really, I dig chicks! Honest!” His portrayal of such a kid is cringe-inducing, as he mouths his cheesy lines like a kid with wired jaw or something. Anyway, he likes Karen Murphy, a girl in his neighborhood, and it must be fate that they are thrown together to work on a school assignment involving missing kids. Through a series of bewildering events, Nathan learns that he is really Steven Price, his biological father is an ex-CIA agent, his school shrink Dr Bennett knows his father, and some Serbian terrorists now want him dead. Oh, and there’s an CIA agent, Frank Burton, who seems to be an ally… or is he?
Under other circumstances, Abduction might just be an adequate middle-of-the-road thriller. The plot is a bit on the far-fetched side, but then again, most thrillers of this nature are not exactly grounded in reality. Unfortunately, this movie suffers from an overload of cheesy lines. When the movie tries to aim for a character to dispel a tense scene with a sarcastic one-liner, for instance, the one-liner often falls flat. The pacing of the movie is slow, with the first third or so devoted to building up Nathan’s angst and his crush on Karen, but a combination of cardboard acting and hammy lines on everyone’s part turns this movie into a… well, I would have fallen asleep, let’s just say, if I weren’t kept awake by laughing and cringing at the many awkward moments in this movie.
This movie is already handicapped from the get go by having “that shirtless guy from Twilight” in the lead. People are waiting to tear this one to shreds even before it is released, heh. And while Mr Lautner tries hard to prove his chops by doing his own stunts and everything, his acting here won’t be lending him credibility any time soon. Oh, and he has his shirt on nearly all the time, so he’s really not bringing his best to this movie.
Abduction made its biggest mistake in trying too hard to be a sober thriller, when it could have gone for gold by embracing the cheese, go all out in bad cheese, and have Mr Lautner run around all day wearing next to nothing. As it is, this one is just awkward and boring to watch.