Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist and Denzel Whitaker.
Directed by John Singleton.
I do not think Taylor Lautner is the worst thing to ever happen to acting. I know it's fashionable to despise the Twilight series, and granted, the most recent one was laughable, and granted more heavily, Lautner's acting was among its biggest weaknesses, BUT---! He is who he is, now can someone get him a vehicle where his limited talents can still be exploited properly?
This may be as good as it gets for him, and if that's the case, he'll still have another five years of movies, maybe a TV show or two, then off to obscurity he goes. The teen heart-throb will learn the path traveled by Corey Feldman.
The thing is, Lautner is a true athlete. He trained himself, he bulked up, and so he has the physique of a credible combatant, and that's what we ask for in an action flick, following the tradition of Jean-Claude Van Damme or Chuck Norris or Dolph Lundgren. Except those are guys' guys and Lautner's still a Tiger Beat dude. (Does Tiger Beat still exist?)
Here he plays Nathan, a typical high-schooler whose dad tends to make him spar whenever he gets in trouble, so Nathan's a pretty good fighter. One day he finds his own picture on a missing persons website. The next day men in black show up and kill his parents. Nathan and his girlfriend Karen (Lily Collins) must go on the run.
The reviews for this were awful, and it only made its way into my DVD player because I tend to keep my Blockbuster Online queue 50 titles deep, and if I don't pay close attention, movies in the teens or in the 20's tend to get shipped. (So rarely do I get one of my top ten choices). But hey, let's give it a shot, and worst case scenario, I edit my Worst Ten of 2011 list.
Well, this won't make it there. This movie is directed by John Singleton, the once-promising director of Boyz N the Hood who still knows his way around a halfway-decent action movie (2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers). And the supporting cast is really good. Molina is the CIA agent in pursuit, Weaver is the psychiatrist who of course is more than she appears, and Isaacs and Bello play his parents. Then you have Nyqvist (Mission Impossible 4) as the main villain, and so it's almost an embarrassment of riches. "We'll help you get through this, kid."
There's logistics points that pulled me out. For instance, he lives in Pittsburgh, he goes on the run for a full day, and yet the climax takes place at a Pirates game. Was he just running in circles? Also, how often are Pirates' games sold out?