Abduction Review

Hot on the heels of the Twilight saga, teenage hormone target Taylor Lautner is being invented as an action hunk for the pubescent market with this latest offering “Abduction”.
The plot is fairly standard, Lautner is your atypical high school kid with a crush on the girl over the road, issues with her Jock boyfriend and keen to have fun with alcohol and Spring Break behavior with his school friends in between a punishing martial arts schedule imposed by his dad.
However, he learns that the people he thought were his mother and father isn’t his real biological parents, shortly before they are killed and he finds himself on the run, pursued by the assassins and the CIA.

It’s standard adolescent wish-fulfillment with Lautner showing his prize-winning martial arts skills off by kicking ass and taking names with an array of bad guys, whilst protecting his childhood sweetheart and becoming her new beau. That said, it’s not done badly and although Lautner still struggles with the finer points of acting aside from a sulky glower, quality support is on hand with the likes of Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, and Michael Nyqvist (obviously hoping for some mainstream Western recognition in the wake of his role in the Swedish original of Girl With a Dragon Tattoo).
It’s decently paced, there’s enough teenage emotional smoochiness for the army of female Twilight fans to dig (plus Lautner sticks to the sure-fire solution of taking his top off at frequent intervals) and there’s plenty of action and bloodless death to let a younger audience watch and not be horrified. It’s essentially what the action-film-for-youngsters-in-improbable-situations has been doing since the 80’s with “Iron Eagle” (although there’s no dodgy model work or boom mike appearing in the internal shots).

Critically, it’s not been received well . . . perhaps understandably as Lautner’s agent is obviously desperate to launch his post-Twilight career and the film itself doesn’t take any risks and is pretty trying to tick every formula box it can. I’m sure there will be a few more also-rans in Lautner’s film bio before he really hits his stride, but he certainly has plenty of promise as an action star.
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