Taylor Lautner does Matt Damon lite in lackluster thriller

click to enlarge Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in Abduction
Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins in Abduction

Taylor Lautner (the canine heartthrob from the Twilight series) is in the hunt to prove that he can open or carry a new release on his own, and Abduction, an action-thriller directed by John Singleton, finds him in Jason Statham/Matt Damon lite land as a teenager with no idea who he really is and who is on the run from U.S. and foreign assassins and spies.

Damon even gets name-checked early on in the movie for no other reason than to signal the intention to push Lautner’s Baby Bourne affiliation. And just like with the Bourne franchise, there is an attempt to provide high-powered support to the lead, with Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Jason Isaacs, and Alfred Molina, strong performers all, but not enough to punch things up the extra notch necessary to compensate for the missing wit that might have helped audiences along on an otherwise pedestrian ride with more than a few ludicrous turns and dropped narrative points.

In addition, it's too bad someone stole the thrills from this action flick because it ends up transporting audiences to a wasteland of high implausibility with no hope of rescue from the would-be teen wolf-pack leader and his vague girlfriend sidekick (Lily Collins, who for the second outing now, following her appearance in The Blind Side, feels like an afterthought of a damsel waiting for something distressing to happen). Grade: D

Opens wide Sept. 23.

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