The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 29, 2013

‘Abduction’ starts with a blast, but ends with fizzle

ROBERT LEBZELTER / VIDEO VIPER


Star Beacon

Nathan seems to be a typical teenager in the film “Abduction.”

When the film opens, he is waking up on a lawn where he apparently spent the night after a drunken party.

Played by Taylor Lautner, best known from the “Twilight” series, the hungover lad goes home where he meets the wrath of his daddy, played by Jason Isaacs.

Dad decides being hungover is a good time for a bit of boxing. So father and son fight and it’s brutal and no-holds barred.

Bloodied, it takes awhile for the Lautner character to fight back.

And you wonder, this is child abuse, right?

Not really, because nothing is as it seems. Queue eerie music.

Later, the boy must do a paper with the cute girl next door, played by Lily Collins. The topic? Missing children.

In their research, they soon come upon a young boy who looks strongly like Lautner’s character. A feature on the web site shows what the boy would look like today. And of course, it looks just like him.

And down in the basement, the teen actually finds the shirt the missing boy in the photo was wearing, right down to the stain.

It’s come-to-Jesus time. He asks his mother, played by Maria Bello, if she is indeed his mother. Tearfully she says no.

Let me tell you, this is riveting stuff. If you don’t have your fingers squeezing the couch cushion yet, you will be soon.

Because before Mom can explain, she meets some bad guys at the door and it is fight time. While she can fight better than most mothers, her demise is soon a reality. As is dad. To make matters worse, there’s a bomb in the microwave with a timer.

It is ka-boom city and soon the house is a pile of debris. Actually several piles of debris. And son and his female friend are dodging house remnants in the family pool.

More action. More fighting, Suspense. This is a good movie — so far.

When the Lautner character calls the cops, MORE seemingly bad guys arrive. Is there anyone he can trust?

He takes the injured Collins character to the hospital where a TV news broadcast states nobody was killed in the blaze at his so-called parents’ home. As the bad guys descend on the hospital, they boy’s shrink, played by Sigourney Weaver, comes to the rescue.

This is fly-by-your-seat, exhilarating fun as the pair are chased around. The climax comes at Pittsburgh Pirates Stadium. That was of particular interest to me, since I’ve been to the stadium and recognized the bridge leading in. (I was there for a Rolling Stones concert, not the Pirates.)

Yes, the film does run out of steam and starts to sputter. There are also parts that are hard to swallow, like Pirates stadium full of people.

But hey, the first part alone is worth your time. And it is available for streaming for free to Amazon Prime and Netflix customers. You can watch it right now if you want.

If you are at work, take your tablet into a restroom stall to watch. For heaven sakes, keep the volume down. Those explosions are loud.