I turned 35 about two weeks ago, and I’m feeling it. My co-workers are about ten years my junior. They sometimes joke and call me grandpa. At least, I think it’s a joke. I can’t be sure. Here’s what I do know without doubt. I’m not a tween. I’m not even a twenty-something anymore. Is there any sort of clever nomenclature for a guy who just turned 35, with a wife, child, mortgage and an ever so slowly receding hairline? What demo do I fall into at this point? Gen X? Gen Y? Whichever one it is, I’m know for certain it’s not the demo that’s supposed to enjoy a Taylor Lautner film. Especially his first staring vehicle, Abduction.
Thing is, the filmmakers try and suck people in my demo in. Director John Singleton, the one time auteur behind Boyz In The Hood and Poetic Justice, surrounds young Taylor with some seriously solid talent, including Sigourney Weaver, Michael Nyqvist, Maria Bello, and Albert Molina, so you think you’re watching a film worthy of their prodigious talents. And the story, about a teenage boy who discovers his parents aren’t really who they say they are, is an interesting one. However, within the first two minutes of the film, with the opening sequence of a bunch of joyriding teenagers, it quickly becomes clear that anybody in my demo is just going to sit their watching Abduction shaking their heads, worrying about road safety and copycat stunts. At least, that’s how the Queen and I were as the film started.
So, we’ve established that we’re the totally wrong people to be watching this film. We’re older, parents, maybe a little jaded. But hey, we still like to have fun. We like our cartoons and silliness. We don’t have to be tweens to dig a movie about teens, do we? Give us some decent action, which Abduction most definitely has, and we’ll get into it. Give us strong supporting characters and we’ll go along for the ride. Give us a great leading man…
Well, hold on there.
At the end of the day, that was the biggest problem with Abduction. Taylor Lautner is not even close to being a decent leading man, and it doesn’t matter how old he is. Patrick Fugit was 17 years old when he carried Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. Henry Thomas in E.T. – 10 years old! It’s not about age, it’s about pure talent. Which, as demonstrated by Abduction, Taylor Lautner doesn’t have all that much of. Granted, his fight scenes were tremendously solid and his abs are spectacular, but if that’s all you’ve got to give, the rest of your movie is going to suffer. Which Abduction does.
I felt old watching Abduction, but I don’t blame my age. I blame kids today and their fascination with Twilight, thus enabling minimally talented actors who get by on their muscles and pouty lips to become stars and force talents like Sigourney to slum it.
Ok, granted, that last sentence sounds pretty miserly. I’m going to tap out here and go watch Wheel of Fortune.
Abduction is out on Blu-Ray and DVD this Tuesday. You can order it online from Amazon.ca here.
Every Saturday At The Movies, a Biff Bam Pop contributor discusses a recently viewed film. It may be a new release in theatres, something out on DVD or just a random act of film watching.