Saturday, January 28, 2012

So, When Does Anyone Actually Get Abducted in Abduction?

Film: Abduction
Year: 2011
Director: John Singleton
Written by: Shawn Christensen
Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Michael Nyqvist.
Running time: Far too long.

Hailing from the halls of all things awful in 2011, Abduction is the fifth film of the year to get the lowest of the low 1/10 from me. It joins such terrible films like The Roommate, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover: Part II and Sucker Punch. But the difference that Abduction has is that Taylor Lautner aside, it had a half decent cast. Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, and poor old Michael Nyqvist in his first big Hollywood role offer their names to Lautner's big post-Twilight debut. Also different is the fact that those four movies have titles that make sense to the story. Here, no-one actually gets abducted. Unless we're talking about the audience. Never before I have I wanted to turn off a movie so much - but no man shall get the better of my 'start watching it, finish watching it' rule.

Being a teenage girl, I should be all over this shit. I should have run down to Blockbuster and kissed the case repetitively before taking it home. I should have taken the horribly photoshopped poster of Lautner holding a gun and looking REALLY SERIOUS and put it by my bed to kiss every night. I should have sat right in front of the TV screen and kissed it too. Just a shitload of kissing this movie is what I'm saying. Instead, if there was going to be any kissing of the DVDs I got that day I probably would have gone for Jane Eyre since it has Michael Fassbender in it - but that's unhygienic. Same with the poster, when I finally get it on my wall. And I didn't want to dirty the TV screen, but my eyes were kissing Fassy, if that's the same thing. I don't know what this says about me: am I destined for a life of finding sugar daddies because none of the people around my age are good enough for me? Or is it that I'm not as blind to talent as my peers? I could make a joke about Michael Fassbender's penis here, but we gotta keep this G-rated (if you think hard enough, you could probably figure out what it is).

Abduction reminds me of everything that is wrong with the way that teenage girls seem to be running the film industry. They're just as bad as teenage boys are to excessive explosions that don't mean anything. Who needs explosions when you have a totally hot, yet extremely untalented lead? It all started with Twilight, which convinced teens that they could be as boring as Bella Swan and get a hot vampire boyfriend and some werewolf chasing after her at the same time. Call it wishful thinking, fate, doesn't exist. Out of the three stars, Lautner was always destined to be the black sheep. Kristen Stewart has showed off her talent more than a few times (Welcome to the Rileys, The Runaways). Robert Pattinson has had several good turns (How to Be, Water for Elephants) and he hates Twilight more than disgruntled Dads of a Twi-hard. Lautner, however...well he has yet to show off more than his abs and a newly acquired post-pubescent face and voice. He is so godawful in Abduction he makes Katherine Heigl's filmography look like the makings of a future Oscar-winner. Some actors can really show that their characters are dead inside, and it sometimes works. Lautner took that a bit too seriously and turned up in the film practically dead anyway. When his fake parents die, he barely looks shocked. Instead, he breathes in a whole gob of air and widens his eyes exactly like a girl who just found a really neat pair of heels for $10. Later in the film, he tries to convince us that his fake parents were "really great people".  Unfortunately, by that point, the memory of the lovely Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs had long faded and it kinda seemed like they were just like those $10 shoes that had their heels broken.

Never mind Lautner's talent, though. Slap his name on something, and you'll have a whole flock of teenage girls camping outside the cinema to get into the first viewing. Personally, I don't find him very attractive, but if he takes his shirt off, there is always one girl who faints. He'll keep making money, that's for sure. And for all we know, he might get better. But for now, let's look at it this way: Lautner is to teenage girls what sequels are to Hollywood. I don't know which is worse.

I'm sure that before Lautner stuck his name to this one, Abduction may have been a well-meaning screenplay by an up-and-coming writer. However, it becomes nothing more than a vehicle for the guy. So much so that you almost forget that there is an actual story going on here, where Nathan (played by Lautner) has to run for his life because he has something that someone else wants. All the while there is some angsty drama going on about how he doesn't know who he is (which he speaks about to his therapist in the most hideous use of needless exposition that I've ever seen) and then there is also a budding romance between his long-time friend and neighbour Karen (played by future Snow White Lily Collins). The movie lays out everything so girls in it for Lautner can understand what is going on, taking away any shred of mystery it has. The story takes a backseat to all the excuses the movie makes: an excuse of Lautner to take his shirt off, an excuse for some up-and-coming actress to make every adolescent girl jealous by having a snog session with him, an excuse for a couple of teens to drive around in a flash BMW, an excuse for Lautner to slide down glass windows whilst dodging bullets. It even tries to become an excuse for saying "good looking people have problems too" with all of the fake angst it has plaguing the movie. Who knows, it might be really hard to be in Nathan's position, but Lautner and his crew don't want any of us to actually feel that way.

Alas, while Lautner is the worst thing about this film, he doesn't get saddled with the movie's worst line. Instead, it is the immensely talented Swede Michael Nyqvist who utters the potentially threatening line "I'll be responsible for the deaths of all your Facebook friends." Sure, Nathan might have a lot and that would be unfortunate, but my goodness, how could you take a man seriously when he brings Facebook into the equation?! Sure, it is trying to be 'down with the kids', but let's not forget that these kids are the ones who will jump straight on their computer and go "OMG ABDUCTION IS THE BEST MOVIE EVA!!! XOXO". A better line would have been "if anyone likes this film, I'll be responsible for the deaths of all their Facebook accounts." Poor Michael Nyqvist...he really needs Lisbeth Salander as his agent so he doesn't get the privilege of being in any more crappy movies like this one.

There's little action in Abduction, and if there is, it isn't all that exciting. It just wants to pound you with angst straight out of 16 year old's Facebook statuses. It gets so lost in what it wants to be that there's only one thing it actually succeeds at: being the funniest movie of 2011. And sometimes I don't even think that was unintentional. I think that these people were smart enough to know that a line like "there's a bomb in your oven" could never be taken seriously.

But who am I kidding? Abduction is actually a really great movie. You just see how many MTV Movie Awards it will rack up.

What I got: 


  1. Hi Stevee. I really don't get what the hell people (teens) see in Lautner. I mean, the guy looks like a freakin' mannequin in every single film he appears (alas I think a there are mannequins more expressive than him), the only thing he does is taking his shirt off and every girl faints while the guys go "man, I wish I had those abbs"! Good review, you made me smile a couple times. Cheers from Portugal. ;-)

    1. He does look like a mannequin! I'm not sure why he keeps getting hired.

  2. Hehe. Ugh Taylor Lautner. You know I don't care about this film at all. So much so that this comment is about how TOTALLY AHMAZING your new layout looks! I especially love the banner and the obsession thing at the side.

  3. Wow... that was awesome to read. You nailed it. Plus, I have to ask these questions. Who goes to see action movies? And would that audience buy Taylor Launter as an action star?

    Of course, you definitely know the answer. I see him squinting and it looks like he's about to fart or something. The kid's future will be in those straight-to-DVD movies or movies that are made for TV but no one sees them. I can kick his ass. I don't care if he has some black belt in whatever he does. I'll beat him up and ruin that million dollar smile girls seem to love.

    1. Thanks! And pleeeeeeeease can you do that? The world would be better off.

  4. Fantastic review. I find awful movies the best to write and read about, the anger of having wasted part of your life on a crappy movie always drives passionate pieces :) I have not seen this movie, but I was shocked to see so many fine actors are in it. How many loans they have to pay off?

    1. It is quite fun...does it make me a bad person that I come up with my best writing when I'm slamming a movie? Haha. And I don't know, but those loans must have been pretty substantial.

  5. Yea writing reviews about truly terrible movies is always fun. Alas, one must also think of the time wasted seeing such movies and even time only comes in finite amount... When I die, I'm not sure wasting 90+ minutes on Abduction will seem that wise ahah ;)

    1. Haha, in the grand scheme of things, I could have either spent my time watching Abduction or sit there watching some bad reality show and twiddling my thumbs. Abduction was far more entertainin ;)


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