Friday, 20 January 2012

Abduction (DVD Review)

DVD Review of action/thriller starring Taylor Lautner & Lily Cole


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Dir: John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious, Shaft (2000), Poetic Justice).
Cast: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Michael Nyqvist
USA, 2011

Reason to see: As a Twi-fan I'm curious to see Taylor Lautner shapes up outside the Twilight series

Abduction follows teen Nathan (Taylor Lautner of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn: Part I) who appears to have the fun time life of a teen just partying and hanging out with friends, although he gets a sense that maybe he just doesn't fit with his family and his life. Although there are some oddities here and there, they all seem easily explained by a core of supportive adults around him including his parents Kevin (Jason Isaacs of the Harry Potter series) and Mara (Maria Bello of Beautiful Boy, Carjacked). It's odd because there is the air of mystery but also very clearly the being misplaced feeling which give the film a very Bourne feeling. In fact, I keep wanting to call Abduction the Baby Bourne film, even though it's totally out of character for me to review by comparison but in this case it really does fit: questions about identity, intense desire to find the truth, and of course action all around.

It feels like it's a recipe that should work but I felt like the film couldn't decide exactly who it's audience was. In a lot of ways Abduction is decidedly teen: cute young romance angst, insecurity, family focus and although the teens are part of the action it's very much reactionary. Nathan is pretty resourceful and smart, but I didn't really believe that he was going to outwit whoever the 'they' was who were after him. Although the threat felt pretty high stakes, I didn't actually feel that much tension in the film. But above all, the one thing I didn't understand was why there were all these little digs are women and girls, considering Taylor Lautner has first billing, the filmmakers must know that with that the audience is going to be very femme-heavy. Why have these little lines and moments that are off the cuff or overt dissing the female characters? To make it more macho? I think the fact that they made it extremely clear that he did his own stunts is enough for the macho factor. And, to be fair the stunts and action were rather impressive so I will definitely give it credit for the action as it's due.

I found Abduction ending up being somewhere between entertaining and amusing. Does Taylor have the action chops? Yep, he does. Were Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello? Yep, they was. Did I want a more complete and/or interesting story? Yep, I did. Did I want more Michael Nyqvist? Yep, for sure. For me, Abduction fell short in more spots than it shone, although if the film was purely and exercise to see if Taylor can do action - then, it succeeded at what it set out to do.

See also Abduction review on the Movie Moxie Podcast #58

DVD Extras:
  • Abduction Chronicle: On Camera Production Journal with Taylor Lautner
  • The Fight for the Truth: Making Abduction
  • Initiation of an Action Hero: Taylor's Amazing Stunts
  • Pulled Punches: Gag Reel
Abduction is available on DVD as of January 17, 2012. Check it out over at &

Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it
I may watch it again
I'd recommend it as a teen action flick

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© Shannon Ridler, 2012

Karen (Lily Collins) and Nathan (Taylor Lautner) in ABDUCTION. Photo credit: Bruce Talamon

Nathan (Taylor Lautner) and Karen (Lily Collins) in ABDUCTION. Photo credit: Bruce Talamon

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