Abduction (a sort of review)

Unsure which was more terrifying: the concept or its execution (probably its execution).

It can be a dangerous thing, taking advantage of Orange Wednesdays. It can lead to you watching a film that you wouldn’t otherwise touch, but you’re watching it ’cause one of you can get in for free. And so began Paul and mine’s trip last Wednesday to see Abduction.

We weren’t expecting much. Knowing that Abduction had Taylor Lautner as its main protagonist, pretty much marked the whole enterprise out as a “vehicle” for his acting. Y’know, cause we need to see him not being a werewolf.

The basic storyline of abduction is this: Teenager Nathan (Lautner) finds out that he was seemingly “abducted” and that his parents of 15 years aren’t his real parents and so a dodgy CIA and ex-KGB fuelled chase across state lines ensues. Oh, and Nathan thinks that it’s okay to drag along the girl-next-door – whom he’s fancied for ages – whilst he dices with death.

Apart from unemotional acting on Lautner’s part, there were two things that seriously put me off of this film. If these two issues had been addressed, I would have been fine with the slightly cheesy plot.

Dialogue

During the course of Abduction, I couldn’t help but cringe with almost every line that was delivered by the characters on screen. Too often, the dialogue consisted of portraying exposition that could have been shown visually or was made the characters speak of their emotional state in too direct a manner:

Nathan says: “I am sad.” – That’s too direct.

Really, it should have been more like – Nathan says: “I don’t want to talk,” *plays with food*.

Camerawork

Whether it was unnecessary shots of Nathan, and there was a tonne of those, there were loads of shots that appeared on screen that your only natural response could be, “Why?” Maybe they’d misread how to go about exposition – again – when there was this lingering shot at the beginning of the film that went over a series of family photos that kinda linked up to a minor plot point later on, but you would have forgotten about the lingering shot by that point.

There were plenty of throw away shots during a lot of scenes where it seemed completely pointless for the screen to be occupied with that shot. (No, I don’t want to look at the side of a building for three seconds. And no, I don’t need to look at trees.)

In the end

The film isn’t worth watching if you want to enjoy it. The whole thing is just a tad too implausible and its overall wooden feeling (thanks to dodgy dialogue that no good actor had a hope in hell of delivering well), means that its only real use is to consider it from the angle of how not to make a sorta action-thriller thing of a film.

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