‘Abduction’ steals the show from itself
Todd Miller | Collegio writer
This movie is tricky.
It’s not bad, but you have to get past the first half hour for that to be apparent. Up to that point, it’s just an annoying, teenage angst-filled film.
The story is about Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner), an “average teenager” who is starting his senior year of high school. When he starts doing research for an essay on missing children, he finds that he himself is a missing child. When he tries to find out more, he finds himself and his longtime crush, Karen Murphy (Lily Collins), running from Russian terrorists and the CIA as he tries to figure out who he really is.
So as I said: The first half hour of the movie is almost unbearably full of teenage angst. I was worried I had the wrong idea
on the movie’s target audience.
But once Russian terrorists blow up a house, things really start picking up and the film gained some genuine interest from me. However, there are still occasional scenes that made me roll my eyes.
The writers did a good job of keeping me guessing. Like the lead characters, I wasn’t all that sure who was trustworthy, who was evil and who was crazy. I must compliment the performances of Jason Isaacs as head CIA agent Frank Burton and Michael Nyqvist as Russian terrorist commander Viktor Kozlow.
saacs did a fantastic job of playing his role without giving his character away. Throughout the film I couldn’t tell if he was trustworthy or not. Nyqvist did a good job in his role, as well. There wasn’t anything mysterious about his character, but when Kozlow interacted directly with Harper, there was no outright malice, which made the character seem more human, rather than just an antagonistic force.
I wish I could say the same about the performances of the lead characters. But there were times when I just couldn’t buy into Lautner’s or Collins’ performances; the characters just too often didn’t seem to react appropriately, or just seemed too wooden.
I had no idea of the setting through most of the film, too. It started in Pittsburgh, Pa. I know that much. Then the characters leave, but come back, I guess. They then start taking a train to Nevada, but the next major scene seems to put them back in Pittsburgh, so I have no idea, really, where they had been or how far they got. I think that in a film based mostly on chasing, it’s a good idea to make sure the audience has a scope of space traveled.
A good and bad move on the filmmakers was in the character Gilly (Denzel Whitaker), who was probably the worst written character of the movie. He seemed to exist only to lay out exposition and appear magically when needed. The writers appeared to want to make him funny, but all of the jokes fell through, and the character was extremely flat. Fortunately, they didn’t push it and Gilly appears in only a handful of scenes.
I will compliment the film’s ability to keep me from guessing how it ends, which is a positive quality for a movie to have. It means the film isn’t formulaic.
Oh, by the way, nobody is actually abducted in the movie.