Let me start by saying, ‘I used to live by a drive-in’. There I said it. They still exist and I used to live by one. And by ‘used to live by one’ I mean I lived by one a year and a half ago. It was awesome. I wish I still lived near one.
And so ends the positive and uplifting segment of this review. The film in question Abduction staring Chipmonkface Magee ( Taylor Laughtner) and directed by John Singleton (Boys N The Hood) is a lackluster garbage dump of mediocrity that boggles the mind in both it’s blandness and lack of originality.
The basic idea of the film is WE NEED TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF LAUTNER. NOW, BEFORE HE GETS OLD AND THE TWILIGHT GIRLS STOP LIKING HIM.
For real. That’s ostensibly the amount of thought and concern for quality that went into the making of this film. To give you an example of the utter lameness that this movie gives us the film opens with Chipmonkface Magee strapped to the hood of a muscle car tearing down a highway screaming and laughing. I suppose this is the more commercial equivalent of standing in a club and fist pumping. Really the flick goes no holds barred for the bro card. It wants to be in Theta Theta Theta harder than anyone who’s actually in Theta Theta Theta.
The plot, you ask? Well, there’s this list of corrupt CAI officers that Chipmonkface’s dad had thus forcing him to be put up for adoption and protected by government agents and blah blah blah. Lot’s of really lame and contrived ‘big reveals’ that feel force, played out, and non-revelatory populate the landscape of the cinematic dung heap.
The most painful aspect of the film is John Singleton. I love John Singleton. He’s the youngest and the first African American director to be nominated for an academy award. I know recently he’s been branching out into more mainstream things like the Shaft remake, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Four Brothers but this is a beast of an entirely different shitty color. All of Singleton’s previous mainstream efforts have at least had something appealing about them. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t secretly love the Fast and Furious movies? Well, you’re lying cause those things make bank and I’m not the only one in the theatre.
Every hard edge is smoothed off, every potentially alienating character flaw removed. This film has had more plastic surgery done to it than that crazy alien looking girl from the Hills. There’s none of Singleton’s heart left in this. None of this anger. None of his… him. He’s not in the movie at all. It feels like they just had a second unit director shot it all and then slapped Singleton’s name on it so that the studio could squeeze a few unexpected bucks out of people like me.
I get it. He’s older, hopefully, happy, and he doesn’t have the same bite. I get it. He’s lost his edge a bit and just wants to direct. He just wants to hang out and make some movies. I guess that’s ok. Who am I to judge John Singleton? But it feels like a copout. If Spike Lee was the Chuck D of filmmaking then surely John Singleton was the NWA.
I’m saddened by Mr. Singleton’s current trajectory. It makes me want him to just shock everybody and make a hard nosed movie about school shootings or drug trafficking and blow everyone away.
So, as I’m sure you guessed, I saw this movie at the drive-in. The only reason I stayed the entire running time is because I wanted to see whatever the movie that played next was. This movie is a travesty and I hope that Mr. Singleton can find something better to waste his time on in the future.