"Abduction's" prime audience targets of date night teenagers will likely be bored by the weak action and dreadfully slow lulls throughout this laughably bad movie. Those who simply like to look at Lautner will consider this Oscar-worthy. But in the real world, this is definitely a movie For Your Consideration during Razzie season.


"Twilight" superstar Taylor Lautner plays a high school kid named Nathan, who has a normal life. He's on the wrestling team, he has a crush on his neighbor Karen (Lily Collins) who has a jerky boyfriend, and he likes to ride motorcycles.


Nathan receives some tough love from his dad, played by Jason Isaacs, who trains him in martial arts. His mother is played by Maria Bello.

One day when working on a sociology project about lost children, Nathan discovers his baby photo on a Missing Persons website. Curious, he talks to someone on the website about the picture he saw. But, he's actually talking to some international bad guys who have been looking for him for years. They want to capture him and use him as ransom for his real dad... an elusive, high-ranked member of the C.I.A.


After a couple of thugs posing as government agents break into his house and kill her fake parents, Nathan goes on the run with his lady friend in hopes of finding answers, and of foil the plot of whoever is trying to capture him.


Don't you just hate when sociology projects ruin your life?


"Abduction" makes Lautner's character into an awkward character, less because he lacks social skills, but because Lautner lacks acting skills. There's no way someone with such a revered body like that could be so hopeless with the opposite sex in a real high school. He delivers his dialogue with little cadence, as every word from him flat-lines when it trickles out of his stone expressions. And with his big nose and squinty eyes, I don't get what's the big deal about Lautner and hunky potential, other than his biceps. Maybe I just don't find bad acting to be attractive.

Collins' character has no reason in this movie other to be extra baggage, to be carried around by Nathan throughout his journey so that he can... keep her away from others? Finding sweetness in this relationship is like saying an allegiance between a dog to his chew toy is sweet.


In the fireball disaster of "Abduction," Molina might be the one who crawls out of this wreckage with the most body parts in tact, but it's not by much. As a questionable CIA mentor to Nathan, Molina doesn't screw up his scenes too much, and even has an OK sit-down scene with Nathan at a diner.


Weaver takes her duty as monitor of Nathan a tad too seriously, and instead delivers her dialogue like a GPS voice trying to guide her liability in the right directions. She's only in a couple of scenes, but it's as if she's competing with Lautner as to who can give the flattest line-readings possible. With her impression of the computer voice from Radiohead's "Fitter Happier," she surprisingly beats Lautner.


Nyqvist once worked alongside legendary character Lisbeth Salander in the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. But now his bumbling super-assassin isn't even worthy of one of her reverse sexual harassment punishments. Koslow's murmuring that he'll kill Nathan's Facebook friends is a new low for assassins, and would probably make Alan Rickman's character in "Die Hard" shed a tear if he ever heard it.

The "Abduction" script has dialogue ADD, as whole interactions between characters will abruptly change subject matter and seriousness within seconds. Each type of conversation, whether it's something as serious as Nathan's fake parents being murdered or as non-serious his friend making the fake IDs, is usually given as minimal dialogue as possible, to make things as simple and direct for "Abduction's" pre-SAT audience to understand.


Restraining itself to a pretty harmless PG-13, the action of "Abduction" is bloodless, even when people are being sniped out or having their faces turned into punching bags (which doesn't even happen that often). "Goofiest Art Direction Of the Year" might have to go to "Abduction" for the bedrooms of Nathan and Karen alone. Apparently, Nathan LOVES motorcycles, and Karen LOVES butterflies. Their rooms make them seem even more juvenile than they actually are. It's like Nina Sayers' collection of teddy bears in "Black Swan," but with an effect that's not intentional.



Reminding us that this whole movie has been a true train wreck with a whiny lead at the center of its sucktitude, shitty adult pop band Train sings an inane song called To Be Loved. This forgettable piece of cheese closes out the movie with remarkably dull lyrics like "No, don't go, I'll show, you what it's like to be loved." The "Abduction" soundtrack is fueled by distorted riffing guitars that search for thematic tension, but only find dull one-man-jams in the process.



As for the movie's shining moments, Nyqvist's line in which he threatens to kill all of Lautner's Facebook friends hurls "Abduction" into Razzie territory with a single toss. My girlfriend liked the kissing scene on the train, which lasts about twenty seconds. It seemed to be the only time she didn't regret sitting down for "Abduction." So ... there's that.



Muscles alone do not make an action star, despite Lautner's dependence on his oft-focused biceps to distract us from his bad acting and underwhelming action moments. Lautner's just made another piece of effeminate fantasy (like... "Twilight"). The young, wannabe-Blockbusting actor's intentions to break out of a pure hunky shell would actually have been better off without "Abduction."


Even when he's being pursued by two different parties of people who are both wearing black and carrying guns, "Abduction" lacks an important sense of danger to its "thriller" intentions. Nathan's journey might consist of a lot of running, but he's pretty safe so long


"Abduction" completely misfires due to its confusion of what masculine elements construct a true action hero. If Fabio ever had his own action movie, it would be a lot like this a cinematic mistake focused on primping a vacant meat slab's fantastical image than engineering a single thrilling sequence.   -- NICK ALLEN, is also a film critic for The Scorecard Review and member of Chicago Film Critics Association