Bruce Talamon
Owen Gleiberman
September 26, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Abduction

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
Wide Release Date
09/23/11
performer
Taylor Lautner, Alfred Molina
director
John Singleton
distributor
Lionsgate
genre
Drama, ActionAdventure

We gave it an C

Even playing the hunted, jacked-up, dude-on-the-run hero of a ”realistic” action film, Taylor Lautner still looks like the world’s sexiest werewolf in Abduction. There’s a stylized quality to his features — not just the lupine snub nose, but the daggerish Son of Spock eyebrows that lend him a squint of intensity even when not very much is going on. That face gives Lautner one advantage as an actor: He’s a great camera subject, like the young Matt Damon crossed with Tom Cruise. It also gives him a disadvantage: When the blankest look you’ve got is already ”intense,” how do you show greater intensity? You squint a little more.

Packed with stoic tattooed Serbian hitmen and hairbreadth escapes (are you yawning yet?), Abduction is a ”high-powered” potboiler that merges the Bourne genre with the junior-assassin thriller Hanna. Lautner plays the secret teenage son of a CIA superagent; when his cover is blown, he and his eye-candy schoolmate (Lily Collins) are pursued by foes and tracked by a CIA overseer (Alfred Molina). Director John Singleton offers bits of suspense, but Abduction is less a movie than a piece of engineering, a glumly ludicrous cat-and-mouse blowout designed to win Lautner male fans along with his girl demo. He’s not a terrible actor, but if he wants a career after the Twilight fades, he’ll pick better films. C

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