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Abduction is a bad, bad movie. Taylor Lautner is not a good actor. John Singleton hasn’t 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.
Unless there was a movie released last year that features two goats in a bare field farting for three hours straight, then it’s 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 I’d try to convince everyone I was an action hero too. But he’s 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, it’s not.
The film goes wrong almost from the get-go. The first scene shows Lautner’s Nathan on the hood of a buddy's truck, ripping down a back road at 75mph with Nathan screaming, “Faster, faster!” while laughing like a mental patient, his friends hooting and screeching, loud rock music blaring. It’s like someone is screaming, “Hey, look at this crazy guy, he’s crazy!!!!!!!!” Of course, the target audience, Twilight fans, may not pick that up, so when the car stops at a house party, one of Nathan’s friends says, “You’re so crazy.” Get it? He's crazy!!!!!
Nathan’s not just crazy, he’s also maybe been abducted as a child. Maybe his parents (good actors Jason Isaacs and Mario Bello, slumming) aren’t 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 it’s possible Nathan’s real father holds the key to some important thing. The thing’s relation to Nathan doesn’t seem really clear, but we’re just supposed to go with it.
Director John Singleton stages awkward and poorly shot action scenes, including a fight in Nathan’s home between his “parents” 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 it’s not. In fact, near the end of the movie, you realize Lautner’s sum total of “action-y” stuff is one fight on a train and one parkourish run through a sports stadium. There are some gun fights, but he’s 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 doesn’t do that much.
The lame action is a hamper to an action movie, but no more so than Lautner’s lack of chemistry with…everyone. He’s just wooden in scenes that are supposed to be emotional. He doesn’t seem all that interested in his supposed budding girlfriend (Lily Collins), and while he could probably kick my ass, he really doesn’t seem all that tough. If you are on the fence about this, don’t see it. If you’re a fifteen year old twi-hard, let’s just say Lautner ends up shirtless in the first three minutes and the line forms to the right.
The Blu-ray for Abduction is the first I’ve seen to have a digital copy where you don’t 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 hasn’t 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 it’s such a lousy movie that it’s 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 can’t fault the technical specs of the disc. It’s 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. It’s pretty slick. Unfortunately, it requires you to watch the movie again, so beware -- that’s not a good idea.
The featurettes include “Abduction Chronicle,” which shows Lautner going scene by scene (somewhat) and providing his “journal” about the scene. He’s a very appealing guy, and you see that more in this extra than you do in the movie. He doesn’t get too in-depth on any one scene, but he does provide some insights.
The second featurette, “Initiation of an Action Hero,” 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 Taylor’s stunts…it’s Taylor. Okay, so that will save you the time of watching that one.
The last one, “The Fight for the Truth” is a standard making-of segment. Most of the actors are interviewed, and the director, writer, and producers share their thoughts. It’s 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 don’t want to get this movie in any way, shape, or form. The extras aren’t terrible or anything, but it’s 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 you’d actually want to sit through. This ain’t it.
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