Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: Abduction

Dir. John Singleton
Year: 2011
Aus Rating: M15+
Running Time: 106mins

There came a moment as I watched Abduction when I realised that there was no actual abducting going on. None whatsoever, unless you count the audience members’ time and sanity, in which case the abduction is nobody else’s fault but their own. Why the filmmakers titled their film with such a misnomer is just one of the many questions left unanswered by this wholly awful, yet shamefully funny, teen-oriented action thriller from the once great – and Oscar nominated– director John Singleton.

Read the rest at Trespass Magazine

I haven't laughed that much in a long time!

Speaking of John Singleton though, it was just last week that I watched Boyz n the Hood for the first time. Singleton was nominated at the Oscars for Best Director (and remains to this day the youngest nominee in that category) as well as Best Original Screenplay, and it's easy to see why. I had intended on discussing it, but the enthusiasm was drained out of me when I was doing some research on it and it slowly sunk in that there was so much talent there, but somehow it didn't amount to much. Singleton himself has seemed to have carved out a career as an action director - albeit, a refreshingly colour blind one (but that still doesn't explain the inexplicable casting of a native American in a role in which none of his parents are of the same race) - but I'd like another film with the raw guttural power of Boyz than Abduction. Even if I am as big a fan of 2 Fast 2 Furious as you're likely to find around this neck of the woods.

Still, beyond Singleton, how Hollywood managed to fumble the ball on two generations of stunning black beauties is beyond me. Angela Bassett's role here isn't so much bigger than her stock supporting character in Green Lantern, but Bassett's "Reva Styles" is still a wonderfully rich character, a dichotomy on what many audiences expect a black single mother to be. Nia long, on the other hand, has had a career that never really took off. Great supporting roles in Boyz, Soul Food and so on lead to multiple series on second rate TV series (Third Watch) and has, as of late, only been doing voice work on The Cleveland Show. Not even a red hot role in Alfie could stir up much interest. How sad.

As for the men? Well, sure, Lawrence Fishburne was a part of one of the most successful franchises of all time (that'd be The Matrix), but ten years after that he's appearing on CSI so make of that what you will, and I don't even want to go into the careers of Ice Cube and Cuba Gooding Jr, okay? And despite his leading man looks, Morris Chestnut (perhaps my favourite performance in the film) has, like Nia Long, a career made up of mostly supporting roles in a collection of films that range from bad to middling. Truly disappointing. Still, as they say, we'll always have this one great film and Boyz n the Hood is just that! An electric, at times messy (but all the better for it) look at a culture that so few actually have any real experience of. Full of layered characters that are more than just cliches and performances that match. A-

As for Ab(s)duction? Z+!

1 comment:

Runs Like A Gay said...

Z+ for Abduction.

Brilliant. I almost want to see it now.