Wow. From the moment this pic started I was confounded by what I was watching – opens with a kid recklessly laying on the bonnet of a speeding car, who then gets drunk, inexplicably wakes up without his shirt on, goes home with a shirt on (?) and then gets into a full on fist fight with his father. That’s the opening nonsensical 7 minutes of this utterly ridiculous film.
This was the first star vehicle for Lautner, the shirtless wunderpup from the Twilight movies, and it pretty much fell apart everywhere it opened. But having the 19 year old headline any picture, especially one that is essentially a male driven action movie, is an incredibly tough sell considering his main audience are 12-16 year old girls.. If he’d done The Notebook 2: Weeping Puppy Love or The Last Song 2: Oh No My Cat’s Got Cancer Miley! or even Charlie St Cloud 2: Back From The Dead Again I guarantee he would’ve easily opened them as a romantic lead. Men just aren’t willing to accept him as an action leading man.
I don’t really think that the failure of the film at the box office is that of the sellability of its star – I think it’s the culpability of the films director. John Singleton. This film is stupid, it’s terribly directed and there is no sense of craft in any of the action set pieces. That this script got greenlit staggers me and that it attracted so many stars (Weaver, Molina, Bello, Isaacs) bewilders me even more. There is no logic throughout the proceedings – nothing makes any cohesive sense – the editing is as jarring as the uniformly cartoonish performances and some of the cinematography is straight out of 1960’s TV. This is lazy film making, savaged by reviewers and that Singleton guided the ship to this result – it rests on him.
Having said that though, you should never judge the quality of films based on their performance at the box office. If you do you are sorely missing out on some magnificent films.
I laughed hysterically all the way through this – entertained by the flaming cannonball misfire that it is – and although this is targeted at 15 year old boys – I think in the face of bonanza’s like Transformers, Avatar and large scale actioners this film just gets lost in the mix. If you’re up for a good belly laugh and want to see what $35 million can get you – ABDUCTION is for you – oh and TWILIGHT fans – sorry there’s no shirts off in this movie.
ABDUCTION is out now on BLU-RAY, DVD & DOWNLOAD