Bourne-style teen thriller Abduction sees Twilight hunk Taylor Lautner getting his first solo vehicle – but the wheels come off pretty quickly thanks to a clunky script, cack-handed direction and, sadly, Lautner’s inadequacy as an actor.
The film’s far-fetched story doesn’t help, even though it does tap into a potent childhood fantasy – the idea that your mum and dad aren’t your real parents. Lautner’s high-school kid, Nathan Harper, has this feeling, but no sooner has he found apparent confirmation – a picture of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website – than he’s forced to go on the run for his life.
With both the CIA and a squad of shadowy assassins breathing down his neck, Nathan and his friend and fellow fugitive Karen (Lily Collins, daughter of Phil) attempt to evade capture and solve the mystery of his true identity.
Watching John Singleton’s hack direction it’s hard to believe that people once spoke of him in the same breath as Orson Welles after he became the youngest person to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar for his 1991 debut Boyz N the Hood.
Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs (as Nathan’s fake parents), Alfred Molina (CIA man), Sigourney Weaver (enigmatic psychiatrist) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Michael Nyqvist (Eastern European baddie) come through relatively unscathed but will probably want to leave Abduction off their CVs. As for Lautner, he flashes his abs and furrows his eyebrows, which will presumably be enough to please Team Jacob. Everyone else will be left guffawing at how ludicrously silly this car-crash of a movie is.
On general release from 28th September 2011.