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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quick Review: Abduction

In deciding on a grade for "Abduction," I hit upon something: the difference, in my mind, between a C-minus and a D-plus. More on that in a moment. But first, if you combine the title of this movie and its star, Taylor Lautner, you can have some fun. "Ab-duction," because the film contrives to have his shirt off in the first few minutes, and not once more the rest of the way. "Ab-duh-ction," because of Lautner's blank stare and near-complete lack of range, the film's general stupidity, and so on. Lautner plays a teenager who comes across a picture of himself as a toddler on a missing-persons website. That leads to a sometimes-confusing story where Lautner and a schoolmate (Lily Collins) are on the run from both the CIA and Russian terrorists. Sigourney Weaver plays his psychiatrist, except she turns out to be much more. Why do you suppose she wanted to be in this movie? Maybe she figured the presence of Lautner would lead to "Twilight"-sized box office, which would enhance her own paychecks? Alas, there was no real box office bonanza for this one.

At one point Lautner and Collins are on a train, and get to make out a bit in a quiet moment before trouble breaks out. As I watched, I was dumbstruck by what I saw as she raised her hand up to his face: either the shadows were playing tricks with my eyes, or...she's got hairier forearms than he does. Also, the final act takes place at a Pirates game at PNC Park (they filmed this in the Pittsburgh area). If this were real life it would mean there was more action than usually takes place during a Pirates game.

As for that pesky grade, here's the thing: while there may be a lot of bad things about some movies, to fall into the D-level it has to go a bit beyond being bad. Hate has to enter the picture, so to speak. Something about it has to make me angry that I sat through it. It has to make me squirm and seethe and either consider walking out or wish that I had. "Abduction," despite its flaws, just didn't do that. My grade: C-minus.

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