DVD REVIEW

Abduction [Blu-Ray]

Abduction [Blu-Ray]
Abduction is a bad, bad movie. Taylor Lautner is not a good actor. John Singleton hasnít made a watchable movie since Boyz n the Hood, and that was 20 years ago! This supposed action movie has hardly any actual action, and the plot is ridiculous even for this type of brainless flick. But yes, Lautner takes his shirt off, so line up, girls.

The Movie: star rating

Unless there was a movie released last year that features two goats in a bare field farting for three hours straight, then itís pretty clear that Abduction was the worst movie of 2011. Star Taylor Lautner seems like a very nice guy, and if I had pecs like his Iíd try to convince everyone I was an action hero too. But heís not. Instead, he looks alternately intense and angry, and runs around Pennsylvania as if that were all it takes to make an enjoyable action movie. Clearly, itís not.

The film goes wrong almost from the get-go. The first scene shows Lautnerís Nathan on the hood of a buddy's truck, ripping down a back road at 75mph with Nathan screaming, ďFaster, faster!Ē while laughing like a mental patient, his friends hooting and screeching, loud rock music blaring. Itís like someone is screaming, ďHey, look at this crazy guy, heís crazy!!!!!!!!Ē Of course, the target audience, Twilight fans, may not pick that up, so when the car stops at a house party, one of Nathanís friends says, ďYouíre so crazy.Ē Get it? He's crazy!!!!!

Nathanís not just crazy, heís also maybe been abducted as a child. Maybe his parents (good actors Jason Isaacs and Mario Bello, slumming) arenít his parents, and maybe the CIA is trying to help or kill him, and maybe some Eastern European thugs are trying to kill him, too! The plot is pretty idiotic and requires logic suspension and coincidence credulity that most people won't be able to achieve. The CIA is represented by Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver, and itís possible Nathanís real father holds the key to some important thing. The thingís relation to Nathan doesnít seem really clear, but weíre just supposed to go with it.

Director John Singleton stages awkward and poorly shot action scenes, including a fight in Nathanís home between his ďparentsĒ and some random guys that is really awful. Every supposed action scene is juiced with heavy rock music that I guess is supposed to make you feel that something exciting is happening, when really itís not. In fact, near the end of the movie, you realize Lautnerís sum total of ďaction-yĒ stuff is one fight on a train and one parkourish run through a sports stadium. There are some gun fights, but heís not involved in them, and other than leading the bad guy (Michael Nyqvist) outside of the stadium to hopefully get shot by someone else, he doesnít do that much.

The lame action is a hamper to an action movie, but no more so than Lautnerís lack of chemistry withÖeveryone. Heís just wooden in scenes that are supposed to be emotional. He doesnít seem all that interested in his supposed budding girlfriend (Lily Collins), and while he could probably kick my ass, he really doesnít seem all that tough. If you are on the fence about this, donít see it. If youíre a fifteen year old twi-hard, letís just say Lautner ends up shirtless in the first three minutes and the line forms to the right.

The Disc: dvd

The Blu-ray for Abduction is the first Iíve seen to have a digital copy where you donít have to stick a disc in your computer to retrieve it. You simply go to the Lionsgate web store and enter the code provided, and viola. It is exclusive to one particular brand, but the whole thing is much nicer than having to use the disc, and you wonder why it hasnít always been like this.

So, even though the Blu-ray includes a digital copy, there is only one disc. The main drawback is that the disc contains the movie, and itís such a lousy movie that itís hard to be very excited about the disc. That said, I give them credit for at least making the movie crisp, clear, and loud. You canít fault the technical specs of the disc. Itís terrible to watch, but everything is really sharp!

The three main featurettes can be viewed two different ways. First as standalone features that cover different aspects of the main star and the production. Or, in lieu of a commentary track, the featurettes are blended into a picture-in-picture viewing of the film itself. While the film plays, the star, director, etc. are talking about or showing behind-the-scenes info for that particular scene, or something about the movie in general. Itís pretty slick. Unfortunately, it requires you to watch the movie again, so beware -- thatís not a good idea.

The featurettes include ďAbduction Chronicle,Ē which shows Lautner going scene by scene (somewhat) and providing his ďjournalĒ about the scene. Heís a very appealing guy, and you see that more in this extra than you do in the movie. He doesnít get too in-depth on any one scene, but he does provide some insights.

The second featurette, ďInitiation of an Action Hero,Ē can be summarized thusly: Taylor does most of his own stunts. Taylor does most of his own stunts. Taylor does most of his own stunts. So, if you are wondering who does most of Taylorís stuntsÖitís Taylor. Okay, so that will save you the time of watching that one.

The last one, ďThe Fight for the TruthĒ is a standard making-of segment. Most of the actors are interviewed, and the director, writer, and producers share their thoughts. Itís wrapped up with a gag reel that is actually pretty funny. Mostly funny faces to the camera and actors falling down or stumbling. Nothing earth shattering, but pleasant.

You donít want to get this movie in any way, shape, or form. The extras arenít terrible or anything, but itís just not a good movie, and listening to someone talk about how they loved the script or the director is sorta painful in context. Plus, the attempted coronation of Lautner as a new action hero is just sad. If he wants that title, he needs to make movies that youíd actually want to sit through. This ainít it.

Reviewed By: Ed Perkis

Release Details
Length: 106 min
Rated: PG-13
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release Date:  2012-01-17
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: John Singleton
Produced by: Doug Davison, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Dan Lautner, Roy Lee, Lee Stollman
Written by: Shawn Christensen
Visit the Abduction [Blu-Ray] Official Website
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