"Abuduction" Review

Title: Abduction
Director: John Singleton
Starring: Taylor Lautner
Studio: Lionsgate
Genre(s): Action

Rated: PG-13 (For sequences of intense violence and action, brief language, some sexual content and teen partying)

I would rather sit between two jukeboxes listening to crap raps than watch "Abduction" again. I would say this is the worst action film to be released this summer, but the release missed summer and instead opened in the dead of September, where competition is so sparse that three new movies couldn't hold off a 3D re-release of "The Lion King" which is more than 15 years old. To make matters worse, this movie was released during the SECOND week of release for "The Lion King," and "Abduction" STILL couldn't top it! Unbelievable. I'm not even sure who to blame for this travesty of an "action" film. The easiest person to single out would be Taylor Lautner, who has the looks of a young Tom Cruise but none of the charm.

The story: Nathan Price (Lautner) discovers a picture of himself as a child on a missing person website while working on a school project, and starts to realize strange things about his life; his parents are always training him how to fight, he only has five photos of his childhood, and he has a recurring dream that his psychiatrist tells him to ignore. I half-expected him to realize that his parents were Caucasian while he is East Indian, but I think I've just put more thought into his childhood than him.

Before this discovery though he makes an impression on the audience by riding on the hood of his friend’s truck while it’s driving 75 miles per hour. Later in the movie, Nathan will dodge bullets, jump out of moving cars, and escape exploding houses. This is the only time during the entire film though that it seemed his life was in any real danger. Once on the run, Nathan is contacted by the CIA, assassins, and random people who may or may not have anything to do with anything. All of them want him to trust them which means he can't.

He is on the run with classmate Karen (Lily Collins), who only comes to trust him once people start shooting at him. He had been too shy to ask her out because he was an insecure loner at their school. However, now she is at his side. Makes sense, since he only looks like a walking sex symbol compared to all the other kids in the high school, right? Never mind. The movie is noisy, stupid, and totally without coherency or logic. This is the only movie I've seen this year where the more the story was explained to me, the less I understood or cared.

The film was directed by John Singleton, who at the age of 24 became the youngest person in history to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. At 43 he shows a startling lack of knowledge behind the camera. Action sequences are cut so fast you have a hard time relating one scene to the next. Sound effects drown out important dialog and deafen the audience long before the film is over. The acting is good all things considered, but Lautner just doesn't carry the film very far. In other words, "Abduction" feels like an amateurish production that would kill the careers of anyone in this film if it was anything other than a studio-funded film. This is one of the worst films of the year.

Parents, there is lots of action violence, but nothing extreme. There is also some teen partying. Recommended for ages 13 and up.