For as long as he can remember, Nathan Harper has had the uneasy feeling that he’s living someone else’s life. When he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website, all of Nathan’s darkest fears come true: he realizes his parents are not his own and his life is a lie, carefully fabricated to hide something more mysterious and dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Just as he begins to piece together his true identity, Nathan is targeted by a team of trained killers, forcing him on the run with the only person he can trust, his neighbor. Every second counts as Nathan and Karen race to evade an army of assassins and federal operatives. But as his opponents close in, Nathan realizes that the only way he’ll survive – and solve the mystery of his elusive biological father – is to stop running and take matters into his own hands.
John Singleton has spent a few years below the radar in terms of directing duties with his last directorial feature film project being ‘Four Brother’s in 2005, and ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ in 2003. More recently Singleton’s only directing project has been the TV series ’30 for 30’. Here Singleton returns to feature film along with actor Taylor Lautner who’s growing acting filmography includes the ‘Twilight’ franchise, ‘Cheaper by the Dozen 2’, and ‘Valentine’s Day’, with the thriller action film ‘Abduction’.
‘Abduction’ is a well paced film, taking the right amount of time to set up the scenario where the characters begin, without lingering too long it moves along introducing an element of intrigue and action, as it builds towards the finale. Careful not to overstay its welcome the locations are constantly changing and there is a sound mix of drama, intrigue and action without becoming too overly done.
Unfortunately where the film fails to deliver is in the script, there’s very little compelling material to be found here, with little substance the various character motivations, and story elements don’t hold any weight, and while there are some entertaining sequences to be found it fails to deliver a strong set up, leaving very little opportunity for the final act to capitalise on the earlier portions of the film.
So much has to be taken for granted, with only a superficial impression of critical plot elements the audience is largely left on their own to simply assume the on-screen characters have a reason for their actions. Nothing about the film is particularly striking as original concept, which is arguably quite difficult to achieve at times however not only does the film fail to deliver something interesting but it leaves itself very predictable and uninspiring throughout.
Despite the lack of depth however, it does serve as a light, superficially enjoyable film with some reasonable action sequences. Lautner doesn’t do a lot to inspire confidence in his acting range in this film, however to give him the benefit of the doubt the script did not provide much opportunity for him to really deliver something interesting. Most of the time he’s required to deliver some dialogue of very questionable quality and look angry, however where he does get the opportunity to shine is in the physical sense with this script and he does so quite convincingly. The wider cast including Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver come together to round things out a little more strongly and Lily Collins delivers her role effectively opposite Lautner.
‘Abduction’ tends to be a mostly forgettable film, it provides some light entertainment more focused on style than substance but only mildly successful even in that regard and isn’t likely to linger in the minds of audiences for long after the credits begin to roll.
I’m giving ‘Abduction’ 2.5 out of 5 stars, it is in cinemas around Australian from Thursday 22nd September 2011.