Taylor Lautner is the guy in Twilight who turns into a wolf. As Life After Twilight looms large, he embarks on a new role as the guy who takes his shirt off and runs around a lot. Although, to be fair, as chase movies go, I’ve seen worse.
Nathan (Lautner) is in high school, and lives with his parents (Jason isaacs and Maria Bello). He’s happy, but deep down, he feels as though he doesn’t belong. Don’t all teenagers? asks psychiatrist/buddy Siogourney Weaver. Yes, but Nathan has a reason to feel different. Cruising a missing children website one evening with the girl he fancies (for a class project, since you ask), he finds a picture of someone who could be him, and then subsequently discovers that he is indeed not who he thinks he is. And so he and Karen go on the run together, pursued by a nasty Serbian dude, and a CIA guy (Alfred Molina) who may not be 100% trustworthy.
I expect John Singleton is tired of being reminded that he made Boyz N The Hood 20 years ago, but he did, and since it’s the only really good film he’s ever made, then he deserves to be reminded. Since then, he’s made routine thrillers, of which this is yet another one. As post-Twilight films go, it’s less charming than Robert Pattinson’s effort – Water For Elephants – but Lautner is a young man with few facial expressions, whose appeal to young women is a mystery. However, he does what’s needed when it comes to running and jumping, and even delivering semi-articulate if not very original dialogue.
Wisely, he has been surrounded by skilled and experienced actors (see above) who give the film a veneer of class that it doesn’t really earn. But given that the film is aimed squarely at an audience who are primed to thrill at the sight of Taylor with or without shirt (and he mostly keeps it on), then I wouldn’t quibble with the outcome. It is almost never outright dull, the two leads are a likeable enough pair, and if it reminds us of better films like The 39 Steps and The Fugitive, then so be it. The plot, by the way, is absurd, and makes no sense, and nobody is actually abducted, but let’s not be picky.
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