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Abduction

Abduction charts a typical teen movie-making template.  Place a hot young performer requiring them to look gorgeous, surround them with a strong support cast of veteran actors and presto a film is made.  Adding some guns and high octane action doesn’t hurt either with Abduction having an abundance of them.  A shame there isn’t much in the way of acting ability or coherent story with only fans of Twilight actor Taylor Lautner potentially finding much value out of this silly star vehicle.

 

Nathan (Taylor Lautner) lives a charmed suburban life with his parents.  Thinking everything is sweet, he receives a rude shock when he discovers it is a lie.  Finding out his parents aren’t who they say they are and that his existence has been fabricated, he goes on the run with an army of assassins on his trail.  Only trusting his neighbour Karen (Lily Collins), Nathan tries to unlock the clues to his past amidst a litany of savage explosions.

 

If Abduction is to receive any awards it must surely win for the ‘most close-ups of its lead’.  Almost every scene is shot with a loving eye on its star as he pouts, flexes and vaguely emotes his way through a pedestrian production.    Lautner isn’t any great shakes as an actor and so Director John Singleton ensures an explosion or gunplay isn’t too far away to distract viewers.  Which is probably just as well as the script is an appallingly cobbled together mess with logic and common sense thrown out the window.

 

Singleton obviously tries to embody the Alfred Hitchcock style with the various intrigues but fails on most levels.  The viewer is asked to accept a huge number of coincidental incidents which negate any form of reality Abduction attempts to muster.  The only time proceedings are engaging is when the action sequences kick in and they’re done very well.  They would have been better had some true suspense been generated with the only saving grace is watching how much worse proceedings can become.

 

Those wanting to see Lautner attempt his usual performance will enjoy Abduction.  Those wondering how the likes of Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina appeared in this can only assume the pay packet must have been more tempting than the mediocre enterprise in which they appear.

 

Rating out of 10:  3

 

The Whistleblower

Like other factual movies such as Silkwood and Veronica Guerin ‘The Whistleblower’ charts a disturbing true tale of injustice.  Having a central female lead as its agitator of change it shows how staying silent is never the answer.  Directed with a fine sense of steely intensity by Larysa Kondracki it successfully delves into the mindset of one never admitting defeat in the face of endless adversity.

 

Always believing in doing the right thing, policewoman Kathryn (Rachel Weisz) is sent to Bosnia on a special assignment for the United Nations.  While carrying out her duties she uncovers a large-scale human trafficking ring.  Involving an American military contractor and sections of the U.N, she becomes determined to bring those involved to account.  Risking her life amidst a cauldron of corruption and threats she realise how truth becomes a hotly acquired commodity.

 

The cliché ‘truth is more fascinating than fiction’ applies here.  Whilst making for uncomfortable viewing all concerned seem determined to present the issues in a straight-forward manner.  It does so in an engaging way allowing for total empathy for Kathryn’s plight.  Played with solid conviction by Weisz, it is easy understanding her actions and the maelstrom of opportunism and greed she confronts.  That such events still occur is truly shocking with those working under the banner of ‘protection’ doing anything but.

 

With a strong cast and tight direction, The Whistleblower benefits from its genuine atmosphere.  The screenplay’s quality reflects this as it explores the trafficking ring from various viewpoints from the victims to the ones meting out harsh treatment.  These angles are seamlessly blended together and provides a good mark against the overall production.  Whilst the cinematography is a little too dark at times it generally creates the murky world the characters inhabit with success.

 

The Whistleblower may be difficult to watch but is nonetheless enthralling.  Those standing up for others deserve to be recognised which this movie does in a thoughtful manner.

 

Rating out of 10:  7