Not quite Taylor-made
: John Singleton
: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins
He remains a one-film wonder. Ever since his powerful 1991 debut, Boys N the Hood, the career of director John Singleton has steadily declined, reaching its nadir with this atrocious action thriller.
Obviously designed as a showcase for Taylor Lautner, Abduction isn’t even likely to appeal to fans of the other heartthrob from the Twilight saga.
The anemic plot is narrated with sledgehammer subtlety. While working on a high school project, a student (Lautner) stumbles across his own baby photograph on a missing person website.
Next: accompanied by the classmate (Collins, vacuous) with whom he has been conveniently partnered, the photogenic duo is embroiled in escapades galore. Needless to add, along the way to uncovering his real identity, the student also discovers the meaning of true love.
Singleton sacrifices coherence and character development in favour of crowd-pleasing sentiment and action sequences which are devoid of any excitement or sense of danger.
In supporting roles, Sigourney Weaver as the therapist and Alfred Molina as an ineffectual CIA agent are reduced to sputtering in the background. The gaggle of baddies, led by Swedish star Michael Nyqvist are not called upon to do much more than strike menacing poses.
As for the buff Lautner, here’s hoping he really does call it a day as an actor. Enough endured.