Sunday, October 2, 2011

Abduction (John Singleton, 2011) -- D

There's a moment about one-third of the way into Abduction, surely the year's silliest film to date (well, on second thought, Bucky Larson wins every crown for terribleness this year), where Nathan (Taylor Lautner), having just seen his mother (err, wait, his adopted mother?) murdered by two random heavies, stands and watches in terror. The camera goes in on Lautner's face, his lips trembling, his eyes teary - as my friend aptly stated during this moment: "Here comes the acting!" Telegraphed from A-Z, the scene ends on a rarely precise note; one of the heavies, wounded and dying, warns Nathan and neighbor-girl love interest Karen (Lily Collins) that, indeed, "THERE'S A BOMB IN THE OVEN!" Not merely basting, but a fully-cooked turkey, John Singleton (the fuck happened to this guy?) sees this thriller concocted world (Lionsgate paid $1 million for Shawn Christensen's script to boot) as devoid of logic, reason, or continutiy (unintentionally). In what becomes a thoroughly meaningless, unhinged chase flick, Lautner and Collins exchange creaky exposition rehashing dialogue ("I just saw my parents get killed before my own eyes!") and goofy, pubescent glances, culminating in a train make-out (HOT!), right before Lautner must use his martial arts skills to crack-down two more anonymous, gun-toting baddies. One can only sit, face-in-palms, and snicker at the soiled product. We may have a Cool As Ice level disaster here. Were Singleton's sensibilities remotely refined, he could have used this Lautner vehicle as inverted genre cinema, critiquing consumption while providing it - a subversive act. Nope. For, when Lautner claims at film's end that it's been "one helluva first date," patrons must exit the theater in shame, sadness, and perhaps, even tears.

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