Abduction Review

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Teenager Nathan (Taylor Lautner) realises the suburban couple (Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello) who brought him up aren’t his real parents. He calls a helpline, and shady characters kill the fake parents. Nathan goes on the run with his girlfriend (Lily Colli


Given the title and the plot hook whereby the hero logs onto a website with CG photos extrapolating what missing toddlers might look like now and sees an identikit of his own face, you might assume that he was, let’s guess, abducted?

As it happens, no... it’s all down to secret agent stuff. An Eastern European baddie wants to exploit Nathan (handily skilled in martial arts) to retrieve a mcguffin (a list of supposed traitors) from the kid’s superspy real father (a low wattage mystery guest star who’s no threat to Lautner in the charisma stakes though everyone talks up the character as if he were Jason Bourne and James Bond rolled into one).

This ace agent is so smart that he has put the vital list on a mobile phone which he leaves lying about where anyone could pick it up. Naturally, Nathan takes the phone on a whim, and finds himself chased all over the map by hired killers.

Also on hand are sinister or helpful types played by Alfred Molina and Sigourney Weaver. Before we start giving Twilight pin-up Lautner a hard time for his lacklustre performance, we should ask Molina and Weaver, who don’t have the excuse of inexperience, what their explanation is for truly terrible work here?

Weaver, in particular, is dreadful in the way only really, really talented people who have lucked into a dud role can be. Directed by has-it-really-come-to-this? John Singleton (forget Boyz n the Hood, this is a comedown from Shaft), Abduction is an ineptly thrown-together fodder thriller that does its semi-likeable star no favours.

You want a teenage action star, check out Saoirse Ronan in Hanna. You like Weaver cameos, rent Cedar Rapids. You need a Taylor Lautner fix, give Sharkboy another go.