Business rating: 0.5/5 star
Star cast: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Issacs, Maria Bello.
What’s Good: Nothing really!
What’s Bad: The unnecessarily complicated plot; the uninteresting and loosely-written screenplay; the average performances; the absence of any high-octane action sequences.
Verdict: Abduction might have the appeal of Twilight star Taylor Lautner, but it is a botched thriller. It will flop in India.
Loo breaks: Several, especially after you realise that there is nothing much to look forward to in the spy-drama.
Watch or Not?: Watch Abduction only if you are a die-hard fan of Taylor Lautner, as you’ll get to see a lot of him in this film.
Lionsgate’s Abduction is a thriller about a young man who discovers that his parents aren’t really his parents and who then finds himself in the middle of an international spy-war.
Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) is a typical American teenager, living happily with his parents – mother Mara (Maria Bello) and father Kevin (Jason Issacs). He loves partying, goofing around with his friend, Gilly (Denzel Whitaker), and even plays the occasional wrestling match in a college competition or at home with his father. He leads a normal life, except that he is an insomniac and has anger management issues, problems for which he goes to a shrink, Dr. Bennett (Sigourney Weaver).
Young Nathan’s love for his neighbour-classmate, Karen (Lily Collins), remains unexpressed till the day both of them are assigned to work together on a sociology project involving missing persons. Karen stumbles upon a website that lists missing people and shows how they would look if they were to be alive today. Nathan discovers a photo of a missing child, which, when ‘projected’, looks just like him. Curious, he delves deeper, looking into his childhood photos and clothes for any clues. Soon, he realises that he is definitely the guy on the missing person’s website. When he confronts his mother, Mara, she accepts that she is not really his mother. Within minutes, their home is attacked by Russian spies who have tracked Nathan, using his visit to the missing persons’ website. Mara and Kevin fight back but they are shot dead. However, Nathan and Karen manage to escape.
Soon, the duo is confronted by Dr. Bennett, who tells Nathan that his real father, who is a spy, had got Mara, Kevin and her to protect him (Nathan). She tells Nathan to not believe anyone from the CIA before asking him to go to a safe house.
Nathan and Karen spend the next few days being tracked and chased by the CIA and Russian spies. Nathan learns that his real father is a Black-Ops agent, who has obtained some secret data from Russian spy, Viktor Kozlow (Michael Nyqvist). He also learns that Viktor is trying to abduct him so that he could use him as a bait to get his data back from the father. On the other hand, CIA officer Frank Burton (Alfred Molina) also has an axe to grind in this affair, which is why he is chasing Nathan. So the only persons Nathan can trust is himself and Karen. What happens next? What is the information in the database, which everyone is seeking from Nathan’s real father? Who is Nathan’s real father? The rest of the film answers these questions.
Abduction Review – Script Analysis
The story of Abduction, penned by Shawn Christensen, is ordinary. Moreover, the screenplay, also by Christensen, is one of utter convenience. It seems that the writer thought of the climax first and then wrote the rest of the narrative in order to reach the predetermined ending. That might have been fine, if the drama had any impact at all. But in the absence of a coherent plot and because of an unnecessarily complicated screenplay (the gang of hi-tech Russian spies, for instance), the audience loses interest pretty fast. The love track of Nathan and Karen is rather forced. The whole angle of the spy-war seems too far-fetched. Besides, one would expect some high-octane action scenes from this sort of a spy-thriller. Unfortunately, such scenes are missing in Abduction. The dialogues are ordinary in general and clichéd in several scenes.
However, the biggest drawback of the drama is that there are too many characters that are given too much importance, vis-a-vis the main protagonist, whose role, in fact, is poorly written. All in all, the script fails to engage or entertain.
Abduction Review – Star Performances
Taylor Lautner does an average job as his acting skills come under the scanner in many crucial scenes. Lily Collins looks her character but has little else to do. Alfred Molina is wasted in the role of the CIA officer. Jason Issacs and Maria Bello offer average support. Michael Nyqvist is alright in a bit role. Sigourney Weaver and Denzel Whitaker fill the bill.
Abduction Review – Direction & Music
John Singleton’s direction is nothing to write home about. On top of a botched script, his (mis)direction makes things worse for the viewer. Edward Shearmur’s background score is so-so. Peter Menzies Jr.’s cinematography is appropriate. Editing, by Bruce Cannon, is shoddy.
Abduction Review – Verdict
On the whole, Abduction is a below average fare. It will flop at the Indian box-office.