Box Office Failures Week: Abduction (2011)

So this whole month is about flops. And this movie, well, it made $82 million worldwide against its $35 million production budget, so that’s anything more than a flop. But it’s also John Singleton’s last movie — a career that had the promise of Boyz n the Hood ended with a vehicle for the werewolf boy from Twilight. Then again, he also made Four Brothers and 2 Fast 2 Furious, so maybe I’m being too generous to his promise.

Maybe I’m just upset because Abduction is the limpest of limp action movies and has the balls to be set in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Then again, most of it was shot in Hampton and Mount Lebanon, two neighborhoods rich with privileged folks who look down on our town’s yinzer soul. None of this will mean anything to you if didn’t grow up within earshot of the voice of Myron Cope, but Taylor Lautner is exactly the kind of kid who hung out at South Hills Village or Ross Park before his dad’s pals from the country club got him a cushy job so he could ogle and harass the interns, always a step ahead of you because there is no middle class here.

Ah, maybe I’m being hard on Taylor. After all, he was a wolf boy. And here, he plays a kid with Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello as his adoptive parents and a kindly Sigourney Weaver as a therapist who maybe isn’t all that kindly, but lives in one of those wacky houses you always stare up at Mt. Washington and wonder — who lives there?

Soon, his kinda sorta parents are dead, his house has been blown up real good and Alfred Molina is trying to kill him. What’s there to do but fall in love with Phil Collins’ daughter and try and find your real dad, only to discover that he’s Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney?

Michael Nyqvist, who played Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl With…films, is also in this. Perhaps this is out American take on these spy thrillers, where instead of sexy and fashion-forward Lisbeth Salander, we get young Taylor rocking out his best American Eagle duds?

This movie got the kind of reviews that I can only dream of making, with one claiming that Bert from Sesame Street had more range than Taylor and the fact that an actual abduction would be preferable to watching this film.

Abduction and Lautner won the Teen Choice Awards for Choice Action Movie and Choice Action Actor. Meanwhile, the man who was once Jacob Black lost his bid to win a Razzie to Adam Sandler, who had the year actors like Cash Flagg could only dream about, as in 2011 he made Jack and Jill and Just Go With It.

If you want to hear exactly how much I hate this movie — and didn’t get the gist from reading the above words — then you should listen to our podcast where I basically went off on the movie for nearly an hour.

PS: Fuck Upper Saint Clair and Seven Fields, too.

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