Tuesday, October 04, 2011


The title of this film is misleading: there is no abduction here in the movie, anywhere. But the word sets up the expectation that there could be one, something as nefarious as the idea is imminent, and we'd better pay close attention to figure it all out. If only it were that complicated.

Teenager Jake (Taylor Lautner of werewolf Twilight fame), while doing a homework assignment, discovers that he's listed as a missing person at age four. When he attempts to find the truth, all hell breaks loose.

There's a lot of action, all right, which means that Jake and his girlfriend spend almost the entire time running from.... somebody. This is after a terminally long scene setting Jake's home life situation, including a really long sequence where he fights his dad on the front lawn. That latter was meant to show that Jake could survive in the wild with people chasing him, if need be, but also pounds home the point that, like any teenager, he has an ambivalent relationship with his dad. Unfortunately, it's all rather boring.

The dialogue is simple, the plot is simpler, some of the situations are just ridiculous -- like, when did you ever see the Pirates stadium full of fans? -- but a reading of the cast leads you to believe there is something more here. Award winners Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver as well as Maria Bello? Oh, yeah! But, I'm sorry: Oh, no.

I felt guilty for dragging my friend to this movie. It's on the level of a pre-teen, except for the snogging scenes between the two teens. But I would think anyone over 15 would be moving on to a better movie, despite Lautner's built-up appearance. I realize Lautner is trying to build a movie career, but at what price? His muscles get a workout in this one, but the audience's collective brains and emotions do not.

Thumb's down.


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