I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Abduction

tn_abductionIn the summer of 1991 a 23-year-old director named John Singleton made a hell of a debut with BOYZ N THE HOOD. It was a preachy, of-the-moment anti-violence tale inspired by his (recent) youth in South Central Los Angeles, tempted by the machismo of gang life but smart enough to avoid getting tangled in its endless cycle of retaliation. The movie had breakthrough roles for Cuba Gooding Jr. before “Show me the money,” and for Larry Fishburne before Ike Turner or Morpheus. He was so memorable as Furious Styles that he turned into a Laurence 2 years later.

It was the debut film for Morris Chestnut, who would of course go on to co-star in UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY and HALF PAST DEAD. It was also a very impressive movie debut for Ice Cube, at a time when it was unusual for rappers to become actors. It was a movie named after an N.W.A. song in an era when even Tone Loc could be used on the cover of Newsweek for paranoid stories about the Rap Menace that threatens our children and our women.

And it went over so well that Singleton was nominated for an Oscar for best director, competing against Jonathan Demme, Oliver Stone, Barry Levinson and Ridley Scott. He was the first African-American to receive that honor (Spike Lee still hasn’t – only Lee Daniels for PRECIOUS) and to this day the youngest (next youngest is still 26 year old Orson Welles for CITIZEN KANE).

Anyway, long story short, it’s 20 years later and Singleton’s a for-hire hack phoning in this half-assed kiddy version of BOURNE IDENTITY designed only to package the uglier of the two TWILIGHT dudes as a teen Jason Statham. There is no happy way to spin this. Life is a bastard.

mp_abductionIn the extras everybody talks like it’s a given that this Taylor Lautner is a superstar who will go on to make many great movies. I don’t know who’s been talking to these people, must be the same guy that convinces all the directors that postconverted 3D is as good as actual 3D. I mean who knows, maybe it’s just over my head, but I don’t even see a vague glimmer of screen presence in this chunk of wood. He does some pretty good kicks, and from the looks of it does alot of pushups. So maybe they could do a movie about a pushup contest where you’re not allowed to talk and have to wear a bag over your head. He might be good for that role.

But I mean, alot of guys have muscles. I don’t see how this guy’s shoulders override his weird caveman brow, soul-less eyes, squeaky nerd voice and Butthead-esque about-to-start-drooling facial expression. You can put him on a motorcycle and make him squint all you want, he’s not gonna suddenly turn into James Dean, I don’t think.

The trailer for the movie shows an enjoyably stupid gimmick: Lautner plays a high school kid who stumbles across a websight about missing children, and an age progression of a missing kid looks just like him. He figures out that his parents are not really his parents, and then people start shooting at him. It looked like it was kind of a HANNA type deal where he’s a young super soldier. Let me SPOIL what actually happens so you can see how not-exciting it is: his only special training is that his fake dad taught him to kickbox, and it turns out the missing kid websight wasn’t even real, he was just put under protection because his real dad is a superspy and everybody would want to kill his kid. Yippee. You know how the trailer has him running around at a baseball stadium? That’s not the middle of the movie. That’s the climax. It’s not trying real hard.

They did bother to hire an overqualified supporting cast. You got Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello as his adopted parents, Sigourney Weaver as his psychiatrist/protector, Alfred Molina as a CIA guy out to get him, and poor Michael “Swedish Daniel Craig” Nyqvist as the Serbian terrorist villain. I mean, at least he got to be in GHOST PROTOCOL, and that was a good movie. But in Sweden he was a leading man. It doesn’t seem fair that this guy comes to Hollywood just to be Scary Dead-Eyed Foreign Bad Guy. His only memorable moment in this is when he threatens in all seriousness to kill all of the kid’s real friends and Facebook friends.

But of course I didn’t rent this thinking it was actually gonna be good. I rented it because I thought it looked hilarious. I’m afraid it’s mostly boring, but I’m happy to report that there are a few funny angles to it.

I don’t want to be mean, but you gotta admit it’s true: this is not an actor who radiates intelligence. He looks like a meathead and talks like a nerd, but not the kind that are good at math and science. Maybe more of a dork than a nerd. So it’s funny when he reads stuff out loud. It’s probly just to give information to the audience, but I imagine that’s how he would always read anyway, or at least with his lips moving. And when he’s not fighting he’s kind of a clutz, he doesn’t move around gracefully. He’s not very cool. The sunglasses aren’t fooling me, pal.

Some of the dialogue is humorously straight forward: “A few days ago we were just a couple of high school kids. Already it feels like a lifetime ago.” A speech pointing out the irony that he never knew his real parents or his fake ones, since his fake ones were lying to him about who they were, begins with the question “You wanna know what’s messed up?”

He has a nerdy friend played by Denzel Whitaker (one of Joel Edgerton’s students in WARRIOR) who makes fake IDs for the other kids, so he takes the place of the spy movie passport forger. He has a hard time helping though because the CIA put him under surveillance. “I had to sneak out back” he complains. (Come on CIA, get a guy on the back door.)

Come to think of it, I’m not surprised that kid was able to evade CIA surveillance as if sneaking out to a party, because these guys are not very good. Even the top guy, Molina, is sitting at a table talking to the kid about the valuable information he’s trying to get, and doesn’t notice that the fucking kid realizes that he’s talking about his cell phone, takes it out and looks at it under the table to confirm it. And it makes a computery beeping noise! I feel like Mr. Top CIA Guy should’ve noticed that and grabbed it from him. Would’ve saved him the trouble of going to the Pirates game.

My personal favorite stupid aspect of the movie is how it deals with Lautner’s emotional reaction to his parents being murdered in front of him and his whole life being a lie. He doesn’t really react much when it happens and then Weaver tells him there will be time later to be emotional about it. That time comes off screen: he wakes up with tears on his cheeks, and the girlfriend tells him he was crying in his sleep.

I honestly believe this is how it went down: somebody noticed that the script didn’t ever acknowledge that it would be sad to have your parents killed like that. But they didn’t want to rewrite the whole thing so they added the line where Sigourney schedules the emotional reaction for later. Then when they considered or maybe even wrote a scene where he breaks down about it somebody else said Are you kidding me? This is Taylor Lautner. You think we’re gonna get this kid to cry? Ah, shit. Just say it happened off screen or something. He goes around the corner and we could dub somebody else crying and then he comes back. Or maybe a bus drives by in front of him right when it happens. Or it happens in his sleep, I don’t know. Just find an excuse not to show it.

At the end of the movie Weaver asks, almost as an aside, “How are you doing with all this? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he says. Great job, everybody.

The opening of the movie has Lautner rolling around on the front of a moving car yelling “WOO HOO!” before he’s dumped onto the lawn at a neighborhood kegger. Since no kids have died imitating this stunt, as they did with the laying-down-in-the-street scene in THE PROGRAM, I believe this movie has not entered the public conscious and therefore we won’t be seeing this kid star in too many more movies. Sorry kid. But I think we’re safe on that front.

As to whether we’ll ever see Singleton directing good movies again – signs point to no. It’s too bad. But there’ll be time to be emotional about it later.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 3:49 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

52 Responses to “Abduction”

  1. ha, I didn’t realize John Singleton directed this turd

    man, that guy sure gave up didn’t he?

  2. and yeah, I don’t get why Taylor Lautner gets all the teen girls wet either

    but of course I don’t understand a single thing about the whole “Twilight phenomena”

  3. Vern, this is your SECOND Taylor Lautner movie review. Rule of Three says you have to review TWILIGHT. Who knows, it might surprise you, like BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY did…

  4. Man, did that trailer freezeframe on that shot of him on purpose just to make him look like the world’s biggest dullard?

  5. I thought Singleton gave up earlier when he did 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, which quite frankly I thought was boring. Locals might disagree.

    But I did quite enjoy FOUR BROTHERS. But yeah, fuck this movie. Looks like one of those turds that gets a future “complimentary” rental on your streaming service or game station, and they try to make think you special or something.

    Speaking of Jason Bourne clones, who’s seen SAFE HOUSE?

    Stu – That would be cruel and unusual punishment.

    Mr. M – Ever notice he looks like a Llama?

  6. I don’t know what happened to John Singleton. It seems like Rosewood was the last great movie he made and that was 15 years ago. The only movie since then that was any good for me was Four Brothers. Shaft, Baby Boy, and 2 Fast 2 Furious were all pretty bad in different ways. Abduction is the ultimate sellout though. I didn’t think he could sell-out any worse then that terrible Fast and Furious sequel, but he proved me wrong with this complete piece of trash. I think he still has the talent to make another great movie, but this is definitely rock bottom so there’s nowhere to go but up from here.

  7. This makes me think of that scene from UNDERCOVER BROTHER: “Jay-Z to cover Lawrence Welk’s greatest hits? John Singleton to remake “Driving Miss Daisy”? Terry McMillan – “How Stella got her White Man Back”? Double damn it! Black people all over the world are losin’ their damn minds!”

    2 Fast 2 Furious is at worst a guilty pleasure round here though.

  8. Best line in the movie. After pointing a gun to a bad guy in his house the bad guy says “I’m not going to die here today. There is a bomb in the oven.” There is a bomb in the oven with four seconds left and they get out but the bad guy doesn’t. He should have kept his mouth shut.

  9. I don’t think Baby Boy was too bad, just too familiar ground for him and nowhere near as powerful as Boyz. Count me in for Rosewood. I can’t remember Vern reviewing that one. Could be interesting.

  10. “You can put him on a motorcycle and make him squint all you want, he’s not gonna suddenly turn into James Dean, I don’t think.” Priceless! Thanks for the good work Vern. One of your better pans.

  11. Holy shit. I literally watched this movie on the plane today when I was stuck on a flight from Korea.

    Vern – you missed the best part – when the Microsoft guy from the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials showed up as a bad ass killer. What the fuck is he gonna do – hold him down and fuck with his registry?

    Then Lautner kills him and throws his body out the the train window.

    Where to start:
    1. He looks like a cro-magnon. Even the “hot” chick who lives across the street gives him a look of scorn.
    2. He’s utterly unlikeable. His behavior is exactly like the unlikeable cock-smoker jock from any John Hughes movie. In fact the way they redeem it is to make him not only a fuckwit with mild retardation*, but with a congenital inability to talk to pretty girls. If this were any other movie, he’d end up getting pissed on by a drunk guy, or eating a donut full of semen.
    3. He brought the twilight suck. How so many top tier talents both signed onto this, and then utterly gave up, I’ll never know. When Sigourney Weaver is phoning it in, you gotta wonder what the fuck was running through her head.

    This movie actually made the three musketeers (also on the plane today, similarly shit, with an equally undeservingly smug male lead – this one looking like Michael Cera instead of Encino man) look good by comparison.

    Can’t blame Lautner though – this guy’s living the dream. Who didn’t dream of being a movie star in their teens making badass action movies and killing bad guys. Of course most of us grew up with Arnold, Bruce, and Stallone, not Justin Timberlake, Bieber, and Ashton fucking Kutcher.

    * What might be the one good note – they casually show his mis-spelled instant message when he’s posting on the internets.

  12. Definitely not as funny ridiculous as I was hoping but I did enjoy watching Taylor try to try not to cry. Because he’s a man, you see. He can’t get all emotional.

    I’m Team Jacob all the way though.

  13. RRA, SAFE HOUSE is horrible post action generic plot Tony Scott grainy film wannabe :(

  14. It’s kind of sad to see where John Singleton has ended up.

    I still liked Shaft though, with its problems and all.

  15. “maybe they could do a movie about a pushup contest where you’re not allowed to talk”

    I would see a movie about a pushup contest. That sounds freakin’ hilarious. Perhaps Lautner should be in a remake of Stallone’s OVER THE TOP? When he wants to show that he’s serious, he can turn his hair around backwards.

  16. Heh, that reaction shot at .38 cracks me up!

  17. Caught a whole bunch of “Larry Fishburne” watching peewee herman lately. Hysterical to see Morpheus yelling and dancing with his best friend peewee.

  18. I feel sad for a generation whose action star is Taylor Lautner. I too had no clue that John Singleton had directed this one. The man has really let himself go. And the thing is, it’s not like he’s following a one for them and one for me format. It seems like he has just produced swill for a very long time now. I wonder if it is, like Lautner, a result of his early success. If your first movie catapults you into the Oscars, what motivation do you have to go anywhere with your art. The same could be said of Lautner. He became the star of a huge blockbuster and is pinned up on the walls of countless young women. For most young actors, I’m sure that’s their end goal. We’ve been lucky to have a generation of instant stars who seem interested in pushing their acting skills, such as the DiCaprios and the Pitts. But for every one of them, there’s probably a dozen Lautners who just want to make girls swoon and shoot a gun now and then (which would be acceptable if he could be convincing while shooting a gun).

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, isn’t the real lost orphan Singleton and Lautner? Haven’t they both woken up in the world of Hollywood realizing that their face is on a milk carton, and they don’t know where they belong?

  19. A while ago I thought long and hard about what would be the more desirable directing career. Being an artist, known for his unique style and vision, being able to do whatever he wants to do, as long he is somehow able to find someone who finances his visions or being a steady working studio hack.
    Believe it or not, but I went with the studio hack. Sure, it’s nice to be known for “doing your thing” and maybe even being mentioned together with Woody Allen, The Coens, Jim Jarmush, Werner Herzog or maybe just Robert Rodriguez, but think about it. As a studio hack, you will probably get paid much better. You most likely won’t become a millionaire, but depending on your life style, you might be able to live a nice life. But what really makes this job interesting, is the challenge!
    Someone leaves several millions of cash on the table (figuratively) and wants you to turn a script, that you have no emotional attachment to, except for maybe thinking “Well, it could be worse”, into a watchable movie, that makes a profit. If you do a good job (in terms of box office), you might be able to pick a better script next time and so on, until you finally can pick one, that you really, really, want to do. It doesn’t have to be something that you wrote or is based on your favourite book from your childhood, maybe it’s just a script, that is exactly the kind of movie that you want to see in theatres or there are already some of your favourite stars attached to it.
    If your work-for-hire don’t have any big financial success, that’s okay too. Maybe you built yourself a reputation of being a reliable craftsman and still get enough work for a decent living. Or you get “downgraded” to TV director, which is these not even not a shame anymore, it gives you the opportunity to work even more steady and maybe even be able to work yourself up to producer status! Or, well, you end up as a director for crappy DTV or SyFy original movies.
    But one thing always stays the same: The paychecks, who might not be big, but are at least earned for a job that is more interesting than any normal office job, and the challenge of having to produce a product, that satisfies a certain group of people. And all that without being worried, that you run out of budget while filming the movie from your personal script, that you wrote over the last 10 years.

    Disclaimer: Of course that’s no excuse for studio hacks to be mediocre and phone it in. Also I really respect independent filmmakers. Especially those who had a long career of making movies about things that they really want to say.

  20. nabroleon dynamite

    February 18th, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Baby Boy is the fucking TRUTH son!! 99% of that shit was my life!! (in other words, no nigga would be fucking my moms froggystyle without getting shot)

    The late great Easy-E said Boyz n Da Hood was the equivalent of an After School Special. I’m in total agreement with that assessment.

    Rosewood was the black version of Pearl Harbor. (i.e. turning a real life tragedy into an action movie)

    Shaft should be re-titled “Jules has a dream the same night he got his Bad Muthafucker wallet back.”

    The only thing I remember about Four Brothers was the chick I took to see it let me titty fuck afterwards because she was on her period.

    2fast 2furious is my favorite “fast” movie. It’s the only one with good chemistry between the leads. The Rock did that in 5, but Diesel is boring ass fuck.

    Poetic Justice gets a Pac pass & Higher Learning never happened!! Got That?? It Never Happened!!

  21. “The only thing I remember about Four Brothers was the chick I took to see it let me titty fuck afterwards because she was on her period.”

    I usually don’t do this, because I think it’s pretty douchy, but this anecdote deserves a high five and/or a fistbump from me.

  22. “The only thing I remember about Four Brothers was the chick I took to see it let me titty fuck afterwards because she was on her period.”

    ummmmm…..thanks for sharing?

  23. Shaft, Four Brothers and 2 Fast 2 Furious are the sort of old-school action I prefer. Actionmovies with good stories, solid acting and none of that horrible skakycam, cgi or avidfarts we all bitch about constantly. The action-scenes are brutal, realistic and exciting (well, maybe not in 2 fast 2 furiuos, but remember the sweet shootouts in Shaft and Four Brothers) If they weren`t directed by some guy who won an oscar once, you would all like them a lot more, and maybe even be excited about Singleton as a action-director. And I don`t know if Singleton is a studiohack. I think his movies share similar themes about communities and stuff. Anyway, his new movie does sound awful, but that would be his first bad movie since Rosewood in my openion.

  24. Dynamite, now you titty fucking some chick is all I will remember about FOUR BROTHERS.

    Singleton, has made some good to watchable movies, but from what I understand he is also pretty sleazy and unprofessional. I know Sam Jackson hated working with him and blasted him publicly during the filming of SHAFT. I think it is more his personal behavior not his ability that got stuck making crap like this.

    One thing I will give Singleton credit for is he mortgaged his home and a number of his other assets to fund Craig Brewer’s HUSTLE & FLOW. Singleton put it all on the line to get the film out there, and that is a ballsy move, and I would say H&F is a better film then much of Singleton’s work despite a somewhat week ending.

  25. Not only is this movie a lame hack job but so is the poster. I was looking at the movie poster for the film Vern posted in the review, and it seemed very familiar to me. Then it I realized where I had seen it before, it is a blatant rip off of this THE DARK KNIGHT movie poster.

    http://www.allposters.com/-sp/The-Dark-Knight-Posters_i6132969_.htm

  26. The problem with these sort of anecdotes is as they get passed around the internets, they get mixed up.

    “this guy Napoleon Dolemite said he titty fucked John Singleton.”

    Vern: you are generally a positive minded guy, which automatically elevates you above most of the mindlessly negative muck on the interwebs. So when you have to go negative, it is a spectacle. To frame dreary Hollywood product in the scope of John Singleton’s dissipation gives meaning to meaninglessness. You have struck a rightful note of anger where many would yawn. Well done sir.

  27. Taylor Lautner puts the abs in ABDUCTION!

    Let’s be honest about Singleton. He comes across as a very angry entitled guy. Possibly not too easy to work with on his passion projects. But a solid director who can finish a movie. I like 2 FAST. It’s light fun.

    And at least he’s not doing post action!

  28. Boyz N The Hood is the only one of those “hood” movies that I’ve seen

    I remember it being pretty good though

  29. Griff, if you’re interested in the genre you should also see MENACE II SOCIETY. Hughes bros. good stuff.

  30. Fred, MENACE is a good one, but NEW JACK CITY is the king of all the 90’s inner-city or “hood/gangster” movies. I also have a special place in my heart for the less prestigious ABOVE THE RIM starting the late great 2 Pac and the always eager to be employed Marlon Waynes. You could put it in the sports film genre because it is about basketball but it is still a film about the inner city experience of that time like MENACE & BOYZ. I will admit ABOVE THE RIM is not without it’s silly parts, like the hokey black and white flashback at the beginning of the film where one of the main characters is engaged in a rooftop game of basketball that turns tragic after he challenges his friend to jump as high as he can and slap the backboard only for the backboard to give way and send his friend plummeting to his death. However, it is the silly parts like that, that are part of the film’s charm. For example, you find out later the main character from the scene I just described felt responsible for his friends death and give up basketball because of it. How can you not like an inner city basketball film that tries to use action clichés like, “I gave up (BLANK) because someone I cared about died one time when I (BLANKED), and I swore from that day forward I would never (BLANK) again”?

  31. It’s only obliquely related to the discussion of 90’s hood epics, but I really gotta support HARSH TIMES as one of the most severely credible pieces to deal with street culture this side of The Wire. Of course it’s only half about that and half about monolithic government/PTSD. Christian Bale’s best performance.

  32. Also JUICE and CLOCKERS are fucking awesome.

  33. Both JUICE & CLOCKERS are solid films. BELLY is another one worth checking out. It is a pretty cliché and flawed film from the same genre, but it’s has much better visuals than many of its contemporary’s because it was directed by iconic Hip Hop video director Hype Williams. Also, FRESH is another good film from the same genre.

  34. Charles, I never saw ABOVE THE RIM but you’ve sold me. It’s for that very reason I love THE FP though it sounds like RIM wasn’t the least bit ironic about it.

  35. Fred, RIM plays it completely straight faced, and that is why it is so good. Also, the basketball in the film is pretty fun and all well shot, no post action nonsense.

    I have heard nothing but good things about the THE FP. I love the premise, and tried to check it out when the Alamo Draft house first screened it but I could not make it. Actually my buddy and I always joked that they should have made a “LAST STARTFIGHTER” inspired dance movie where a young man is handpicked to competed in the ultimate dance battle based on his scores form the Dance Dance Revolution game.

  36. Pat yourself on the backs, Folks. Hilarious review and comments. I’ve been cracking up reading them. I love you all. 

    I liked the Shaft remake a lot. I had the honour of meeting Richard Roundtree last year and asked him what he thought of it. Hated it. Apparently there was a much better script that got thrown out meaning people just went autopilot and collected their cheques. I didn’t get that at all from the film, especially from Jeffrey Wright.

    Nabroleon, I’m renting a copy of Four Brothers asap. Does it work with all chicks?

  37. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    February 18th, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Jimbolo – do I still get included in the love despite having not actually commented in this thread yet?

    Erm… that’s actually all I got because I’ve given about fifty “esoteric” recommendations lately and have literally nothing left. As well as the fact that contemporary American “black cinema” hardly ever makes it over here to the UK. Sorry. Anticlimax, I know.

    Completely off-topic, anybody else seen “The Silence”? I’d be interested to know what you guys thought of it.

  38. What’s wrong with Higher Learning?

    Nah, just kidding. That movie is a piece of shit. A friend of mine in high school had her parents use it as justification for her and her siblings to attend Christian universities only, which I found hilarious.

  39. New Jack City definitely tops the list of urban drama/action. I don’t recall any titty fucking in the audience I saw it with.

  40. “Sit your five dolla ass down, before I make change!”

    “Step the fuck off, Gigantor!”

    “I wanna kill you so bad, my dick’s hard!”

    And how about Chris Rock gives in to the crack and the camera gets vertigo? Film was fucking insane.

  41. So…are you guys proposing a new ratings scale? A score of “felt ‘er up” to “titty fuck,” perhaps?

  42. nabroleon dynamite

    February 19th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    @Renfield. I responded to your comments in the “Martyrs” talkback. (sorry for the delay)

    WOW!! One after b-movie titty fuck between consenting adults garnered this much response?

    I can only blame this on the death of the drive in theatre…

    **Titty fucking side note** I ran into this woman last month returning a movie to the Redbox. I hadn’t seen her in at least 2 years. It was cold, so she was wearing a coat, but it was evidently clear that she has had a breast reduction.

    Needless to say, my conversation became immediately truncated upon realization.

  43. So this one is not even so bad it is good huh? I guess we should save that tag for Ghost Rider II.

  44. I overheard this phone conversation between Taylor Lautner and Sly in which Lautner tries to convince Sly to cast him for Expendables 2…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvtIuzzsS-A

  45. I have no interest in this film, but I do like that his shoes are making sparks against that glass surface for some reason.

  46. yo Vernininite, when are you gonna get a new review up brah?

  47. Some help, please. I need some advice, people. I can’t decide what to watch next;
    a) The Hunter with Steve McQueen.
    b) The Light at the End of the World with Kirk Douglas and Yul Brynner.
    or
    c) Django Strikes Again with Franco Nero.

  48. Griff, you made another comment about why does Vern see all these movies and not review them…it occurs to me that Vern is one of the most hard-working writers on the net. The volume of his output is fucking staggering, and he never throws down little jokey non-reviews like Ebert …. cut the dude some slack!

    I link-hopped to the 4 Brothers review and Vern gave kudos to David Holmes for his soundtrack work. Holy fuck is this true. Just listening to the man’s samplin’, he has the most diverse and amazing taste in music ever. Before I knew who/what he was, “Come Get It I Got It” was one of the most confounding albums I ever heard. I mean it’s all this great soul and country and funk and then … he samples some lost track from an obscure Krautrock compilation from 40 years ago? He samples fucking Le Orme at the end of Oceans 11, I mean a COMPLETELY unknown Italian prog-rock band from the late 60’s/early 70’s? (If you can track down the song he uses at the end of Oceans with the vocals included, “Ad Gloriam”, it’s pretty heavenly).

  49. Ad Glorium? Ad Gloriam? I dunno.

  50. I just watched this movie as part of a “movie-tweeting” thing I do and it was hard to come up with jokes, it was so boring. I feel like if they had gotten a kid that could even pretend to act his way out of a wet paper bag they would have had an enjoyable dumb disaster on their hands

  51. Holy crap this movie is bad. It’s boring as shit, the acting is mostly terrible, the climax is lame, and the action scenes are poorly filmed and put together (except the one where Maria Bello is beating the shit out of two guys, I liked that one). I thought Lautner was actually kind of likable when he hosted SNL but yeah, he’s ridiculously wooden here, his acting is almost comically bad, even though I don’t think any actor could have saved this movie. Especially with Singleton’s direction – what the hell happened? I kind of love 2 Fast 2 Furious and Shaft and Four Brothers – they’re trashy and quirky and entertaining and hilarious (possibly not on purpose) – here Singleton is phoning it in more than Sigourney Weaver. Oh, I do like how Denzel Whitaker acts about the same as he did in My Soul to Take, even though in that one he’s blind and this one he’s not.

    SPOILER(?) – So I like that they keep referring to his spy dad the entire time like he’s this legendary, almost Seagal-ian character. We then hear his voice and see him in the shadows and we figure his big reveal will be a famous actor. And it’s…..Dermot Mulroney?? I mean, I like him as much as the next guy but say what??

    By the way, was anyone actually Abducted during this movie?

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