Before I go into reviewing Abduction, I have a little housecleaning to do. Yes, I am aware that Taylor Lautner is in Twilight, and yes, I am aware that he’s known for taking off his shirt, but let me start by saying that this film does not star Jacob Black. There will be no comparisons or references to Twilight in this review. I am not familiar with the Twilight books beyond what references and parodies people make in mainstream media. With that out of the way, let’s get on with the review.
The basic story of Abduction follows a young man named Nathan Harper, played by Taylor Lautner. While researching an assignment for a class, he finds his picture on a missing children’s website. That is only the start of long chain of events that entangles him and his friend Karen, played by Lily Collins, in a web of international intrigue.
Simply put, the story of Abduction is rock solid. While it isn’t entirely original, it does a great job of getting viewers into the story and really making them care about what is going on. If I were to make a comparison, I’d say this story is a combination of the Bourne movies and The Face on the Milk Carton, a 1990 novel by Caroline B. Cooney that shares a similar premise. Although the story is a fairly basic one, it’s also a very entertaining one.
Another thing that the story succeeded in was how the characters were developed. They didn’t do one huge exposition dump like most action films are prone to. They took their time in establishing the characters and developing them as the film went on.
The action scenes in this film are also very entertaining. While some of the scenes step into 80’s action territory, there are also other scenes that are incredibly realistic. The realism can be attributed to the fact that Lautner did all of his own stunts throughout the film. The fight scenes are also well choreographed and believable without becoming overly brutal or just downright silly.
The acting in this film is also spot on. With a cast featuring Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver, you’re guaranteed some good performances. Now I know many people will roll their eyes as I say this, but Lautner does an incredible job in this movie. His character is well developed and his actions, and reactions, are realistic. He doesn’t play it like a stone-cold action star, nor does he play it like a sad sack. He plays the character as what he is, a normal teenager. Not Hollywood normal, realistic normal.
Overall, this was a fairly enjoyable action film. This definitely shows that Lautner has promise. If you’re a fan of action movies like the Bourne series then you’ll enjoy this film. With a film like this under his belt, I would be surprised if the rumors about Lautner appearing in The Expendables 2 were true.
While Abduction is great, it’s a genre film, which is why I’m only giving it a 3.5/5. An enjoyable ride for any action film fan.