Check out our review of Abduction - is it any good and how suitable is it for kids?

A Dog's Purpose Poster


Starring: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina. (12A)

Release date: 2011

2 out of 5


Taylor Lautner – best known as the muscular werewolf Jacob in the Twilight saga – gets his first leading role in this rather silly teen action thriller. He's Nathan, a high-school wrestling champ who yearns for girl-next-door Karen (Collins), has full-on boxing matches with his dad (Jason Isaacs) on the family lawn, and visits a psychiatrist (Weaver, looking like she'd rather be somewhere else) to deal with anger issues and a strange recurring dream about watching a woman being killed. 

Researching a high school project, Nathan stumbles across a missing children's website that features a pic of a kid that looks just like he did as a tot, but he hardly gets time to confront his parents to see if they really are his mum and dad before they are gunned down in front of him, his house explodes, and he and Karen are on the run for their lives. As they try to find out the truth about Nathan's parents, there's a CIA man (Molina) trying to help them, but also a very determined Eastern European baddie (Michael Nyqvist) on their trail.

What could have been a Bourne Identity-style action thriller for teens is instead a badly scripted ("when I'm finished you'll be responsible for the death of every friend you have on Facebook," threatens the bad guy), daftly plotted and often preposterous adventure. There are some ridiculous moments that will make grown-ups snigger – Nathan finds the same kid's t-shirt from the missing child website photo, complete with visible stain, in his house (why would his mum keep it?), Nathan and Karen stop for a full-on snog on a train while bad guys are in hot pursuit, and we won't even mention the daft hospital escape that involves a bunch of balloons – but, of course, it's worth remembering this film isn't for grown-ups anyway, it's for Taylor fans. And while his acting isn't going to win any awards (except for, perhaps, a Razzie), Lautner puts his years of martial-arts training to good use by doing his own impressive stunts, getting his shirt off a couple of times and furrowing his brow manfully, all things that will satisfy his teenage followers. A shame that everyone else will be disappointed or laughing…

Is Abduction suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This film is aimed at teens and while the central characters are often in danger, there is nothing frightening here.

If you like this, why not try: Twilight, I Am Number Four, The Skulls, WarGames, Tomorrow When The War Began,