By Clint Morris
The word ‘vehicle’ has a couple of meanings.
The one the word is more often used in the context of is this one :
any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed; a means of conveyance or transport: a motor vehicle; space vehicles.
But it can also mean :
a carrier, as of infection.
”Abduction”, a new teenage action-thriller (giggle) that wants to be its target market’s ”Bourne Identity” (but comes across as more ”Agent Cody Banks”), meshes both meanings. You see, though ”Twilight” alum Taylor Lautner does ‘carry’ and ‘convey’ (with one blank expression) his new vehicle, there’s no doubting the vanilla-thrilla will leave film lovers feeling ill.
Yes, it’s an infectiously nauseating bit of fluff that’s spitting up banal, laughable phlegm the moment the title card dissolves into visual.
To be fair, this movie isn’t for me. It’s also not for you. And it’s also not for the 15-year-old teenage girl with good taste – it’s for the ”Twilight” fan, or rather, the randy young lasses who get their just delights through the all-ages chick porn that is a Taylor Lautner (who plays Jacob Black, the shirtless werewolf, in the “Twilight” movies) vehicle.
As anyone who saw “Twilight” and it’s two sequels would be aware, the main thing Taylor Lautner’s got going for him is his abs. There’s some acting ability in there, but at the moment, his abs take centre stage. It goes without saying then that if you’re heading to Abduction to see a classy ”Bourne Identity”-like thriller (directed by the chap who gave us ”2 Fast 2 Furious”!? Yeah, rigggght..) with Lautner giving his best Matt Damon Jr you’ll leave sorely disappointed; if however you’re coming to see a teenager with his shirt off, mouthing some of the most banal, wooden dialogue since the episode of Full House when Michelle pooped her first nappy , and acting like he’s playing John McClane in an end-of-year high-school stage production of ”Die Hard”, bring a spare pair of underwear. Squee.
The heard and seen-it-all-before plot (River Phoenix did it better in ”Little Nikita”; there was even a Jason Bateman-starring telemovie released in the ’80s, ”Moving Target”, that tackled the terrain more successfully – and again, that was telemovie featuring the less-popular Teen Wolf!) sees Jacob Nathan (Lautner), a high schooler and wrestler, discovering the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. Next thing he knows, the inexplicably smart and skilled Nathan – along with neighbour, Karen (Lily Collins) – finds himself on the run from both the authorities and some international crooks, because, of course, he doesn’t know which side to trust.
If it were 1992, and this was John Singleton’s follow-up to the brilliant urban drama ”Boyz N’The Hood” (1991), then one would expect much more from Abduction. But since Singleton has pretty much retired from making classy, meaningful movies and now solely works as a gun-for-hire on studio fluff ,most film buffs will know to keep away from this anyway.
But then there is the support cast – Sigourney Weaver! Jason Isaacs! Maria Bello! Alfred Molina! All terrific actors, and unlike Singleton, they’re still making quality movies – for the most part. Don’t be fooled by their presence though, if anything, ”Abduction” simply proves that even classy artistes like money as much as the rest of us do (and who can blame them, especially when, in the case of Weaver, you’re likely paid a suitcase of gold ingots for a couple of shots of you escorting the film’s shirtless hero behind some balloons, sprouting some hideous dialogue that near single-handedly dints the fine reputation). Sad to see Ellen Ripley swallowed whole by the extra terrestrial shit monster though.
If you spot a quote on the poster for ”Abduction” that reads something like ‘This Year’s Bourne Identity’, you’ll know Lionsgate have added the controversially unseen critic David Manning to the payroll.
Featurettes, Gag Reel… 20% extra rib.