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Rated 3.04 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
On the Run
by Betty Jo Tucker

Imagine being a teenager and finding out the wonderful man and woman who raised you are not your real parents. That’s what happens to Taylor Lautner’s character Nathan in Abduction, an action thriller also starring Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver and Lily Collins. So what’s a panicked youngster to do?  Just what we know Jacob in the Twilight flicks would do – take off his shirt and get busy solving the mystery of his identity. In fact, Lautner goes shirtless here just enough to please his fans. And he looks more buffed-up than ever. Unfortunately, one particular shirt made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief early on, but I won’t say more about that because it might spoil things for you.

At the beginning of the movie, we can’t help wondering why Nathan’s dad (Isaacs) engages in such tough work-out bouts with the boy. This rough-and-tumble interaction looks more like Navy Seals training or combat mission preparation. Nathan’s mom (Bello, excellent as always) finally has to break things up between them. But everyone seems good-natured about it, so not to worry.  It’s not long before we see how this type of “fatherly” lesson pays off for Nathan when he and his cute neighbor/classmate Karen (Collins) go on the run from menacing, relentless pursuers.  

Why are Nathan and Karen being chased? Who are Nathan’s real parents? What will happen to Nathan and Karen if they are caught?  Who can they trust? It’s easy to worry about these two youngsters, especially after watching them in one tender “babes-in-the-woods” scene. Fortunately, Nathan  should be able to take care of himself because of the fighting skills he’s perfected. Plus he has secretly cared for Karen ever since they were in middle school -- so he’s not about to let anything bad happen to her now.

Directed by John Singleton (Shaft), Abduction alternates between fast-paced action and confusing  plot situations. Although the film succeeds in evoking suspense concerning the dangers faced by Nathan and Karen, the acting appears uneven here -- with honors going to pros Isaacs, Bello, Weaver (as an unorthodox psychiatrist), and Molina (playing an anxious CIA contact who may have an agenda of his own). Lautner and Collins sometimes project the tremendous fear you expect from youngsters facing such a perilous situation, but sometimes they don’t.

You probably want to know who Nathan's real father is. However, If I tell you, he’d have to kill me. Still, I  can reveal that it’s not Darth Vader.            

(Released by Lionsgate and rated “PG-13” for sequences of intense violence and action, brief language, some sexual content and teen partying.)

For more information about Abduction, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.      

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