“Abduction” is what you would expect from an action film starring a young heartthrob and his sexy female sidekick. It’s heavy on explosions, big guns, intense fighting sequences, and light on a solid script and acting skills. What saves it from being a dud is Taylor Lautner’s swift martial art and stunt skills and an oddball selection of supporting actors.
The necessary shirt-less scene comes about 15 minutes into the film. After a night of partying, the camera opens on Nathan (Lautner) sprawled on the hostess’ front lawn, having conveniently lost his shirt. Herein lies his biggest hurdle: to be taken seriously as an actor for his skills, not just his looks. In “Abduction” Lautner has some versatility and proves he won’t be "Twilight's" Jacob Black in all of his roles. Yet he tends to deadpan certain lines and his voice can come off a bit whiney. Despite this, he has charisma and he’s young, so there’s room to grow. With a little (ok, maybe a lot of) polishing, Lautner has the power to be more than just a pretty face. His youthful, endearing demeanor gives way to the sort of innocence that is rarely found in young Hollywood. He is the perfect action star though, flipping and whipping his body into high kicks, sliding down glass rooftops and nimbly jumping over obstacles in a chase scene.
Lily Collins is his on-screen love interest (and until about a month ago, his real-life girlfriend) Karen. The two have a sticky-sweet, awkward kind of chemistry. The daughter of Phil Collins, she already has a background in modeling and acting (“The Blind Side”). Both seem to earnestly want to make an impact in the acting world. Lautner has producing credits for “Abduction” and Collins has several films hitting theatres in the next few months. Unfortunately this probably isn’t the film that will set them on the map as serious actors.
The supporting cast includes Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Alfred Molina and a flash of Dermot Mulroney. Most of these characters have such minor roles, but it’s enough to lay a solid foundation for the film.
“Abduction” closes with some loose ends, making room for a sequel (or two). Let’s hope Lautner’s acting chops improve, because his time in the spotlight is far from being over!
Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, Alfred Molina, Michael Nyqvist
Rated PG-13 for "sequences of intense violence and action, brief language, some sexual content and teen partying"
Directed by John Singleton
Written by Shawn Christensen