Put the name Taylor Lautner in lights and without a doubt, studios will have a blockbuster on their hands. At least when it comes to screaming teenage girls. Most will recognize his name from a certain teenage vampire trilogy (I refuse to even type the name here) in which he plays a werewolf in love with the one girl he wishes was more than just a friend. In Abduction, which is essentially Taylor’s “leading” debut, I think he forgets that he isn’t playing a brooding supernatural creature – he still has that stare-filled-with-longing thing down pat. But then do we mind this?
Abduction (2011) Film Review
Nathan (Lautner) is an average American teen who likes to have fun and party without thought to the repercussions. His father (Jason Isaacs) isn’t forgiving and is always quick to merit a punishment. His mom Mara (Maria Bello) uses an altogether different approach and grounds him. Even still, Nathan finds a way to break a few rules. For now, he’s still wrapped up in his crush on neighbor, Karen (Lily Collins). Former childhood playmates, Nathan has always wanted to ask Karen out, but his anger issues prevents him. His luck is about to change when an opportunity to spend time with her arises. Together they have a school project. Their topic? Sociology. As they work on a paper about missing children, Nathan stumbles across a familiar face: his own.
He now questions who he is and is convinced his recurring dream of a woman being killed means something. Before he can find the answers he needs, his home is evaded by two men, dangerous men who leave tragedy in their wake. This sends Karen and Nathan on the run for their lives.
Apart from Valentine’s Day, this is the only movie that I’ve seen Lautner in. Unfortunately, he doesn’t (yet!) have the talent to carry off anything deeper than this type of film. A role that will leave girls giddy and breathless, but nothing more. About the first forty-some minutes of the movie is nothing but teenage angst and parties. Once things start to roll, the script actually does build decently good suspense and some clever twists. The movie isn’t so much action-packed as it keeps us on the edge of our seats because we are never quite sure where the movie is going to go next. By this I mean, the mystery of what the characters will find around the next bend.
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Same as with anything, there are pros and cons to weighed in Abduction. On the con side, the story’s beginning doesn’t grip its viewer. On the flip side, this might be a pro for something like this. Somehow it does add to the mystery and makes us question what is going on. Despite outward appearances, Abduction doesn’t move at a fast pace. In addition to Lautner, you’ll also see appearances from Dermot Mulroney (in a mysterious role) and Sigourney Weaver plus one of 2012’s rising stars, Lily Collins. Despite my griping, I do like the movie.
One of the biggest mysteries of the film is its title. Others have said this, but it bears repeating; the title isn’t telling of the film – the only parallel there is, is the suggestion that Nathan’s life is not his own. The truth and answers (or in some cases lack of) he learns makes him doubt this life. In the end, he does learn to appreciate the gift of his life. When it comes right down to it, I’m not sorry to I watched this one. But if you are looking for an espionage thriller with more to it, I’d suggest you look elsewhere.
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CONTENT: Abduction is PG13 because of a sensual scene between teenagers. A party ends with a guy lying out on the front lawn with beer cans scattered everywhere [the occasional sexual innuendo may be present – and Nathan is shirtless a time or two]. There is the unfortunate use of the f-word and other milder profanities. About three people are shot [with little blood]; someone beats up a person, and tosses them from a moving train.