“ab·duc·tion, noun. The leading away of a minor under the age of sixteen, without the consent of the parent or guardian; and the forcible carrying off of any one above that age.” At not a single point in this movie is anyone abducted.
Feeling like a Disney version of The Fugitive, Abduction is a chase movie that not for a single second treats anyone to the act of its title, but that’s the least of its worries. In fact, just to talk of this Taylor Lautner-vehicle in the same breath as Harrison Ford’s classic gives it far too much credit, Abduction is a cheap knock-off, only it cost a lot of money too.
When Nathan Harper sees his picture on a missing persons website, he’s understandably confused, though after calling up the site’s helpline, instead of information about his real past, is soon embroiled in a cross-country chase, as enemies of his real father attempt to hunt him down to use as collateral to reclaim illicit data stolen from their grasp.
There could have been enough in the basic plot for director John Singleton to base an entertaining thrill-ride around, but chronically cheesy sequences and telegraphed plot twists, the character created by Lautner and truly horrendous dialogue really let the film down.
For you to root for Lautner’s Nathan Harper, you have to like him, but his character is nothing short of womanising, teenage party boy and I’d have much rather he’d died in the very first scene. The character actors (Maria Bello, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver) placed around him to pad out the film do much better, but their roles are all so completely bit-part they can’t hide the chronic problems at its core, and against such a hapless performance in the main role, come across as, if anything, too realistic.
Playing Lautner’s love interest, Lily Collins she does everything asked of her; hopefully she has much more to work in the Tarsem Singh’s upcoming Snow White update.
You might see the torrent of bad reviews and think Abduction can’t be that bad, but trust me, it is. It’s a Taylor Lautner vehicle in the strongest of senses; the whole film relies on him, and he lets it down badly, and collapsing with his terrible performance, there isn’t a single redeeming feature.