We were having some issues with the electricity here at 5-Word Heights last night, but everything is back up now so I’m chasing the International Date Line to get this flick watched and reviewed while it’s still Thursday somewhere. I picked one that made almost all the Worst Movies of the Year lists for 2011 (and apparently topped quite a lot of them): John Singleton’s…
Sharkboy’z N The Hood. (Sorry)
00:01 Points for the funky opening credit song.
00:03 What it is it about Taylor Lautner that he doesn’t seem to have any expression in the upper half of his face? He has the most prominent browbone in history. It must be like wearing a baseball cap all the time and never being able to take it off!
00:04 Contractually-obligated shirtless scene to appease the Twilight fans. Can we get on with the movie now please?
00:06 Jason Isaacs! Time for some Proper Acting™
00:08 Probably the oddest father/son exercise sequence in movie history. Jason Isaacs and Taylor Lautner beating the crap out of each other in the back yard. Foreshadowing Lautner’s fighting skills for later in the film perhaps?
00:12 Also starring Sigourney Weaver as compassionate yet oddly suspicious therapist. I’m getting the feeling John Singleton had the same idea as Soderbergh when he was making Haywire. Have a lead star not known for their acting ability and prop them up with a high quality supporting cast. Will it work?
00:14 He’s on the school wrestling team too. More foreshadowing?
00:19 So, Nathan, not only is the cute girl in class that you seem incapable of talking to also your neighbour, but you’ve been paired up with her for a class project? Funny how you can chat away and be all funny and charming (relatively speaking) when there is nobody else around.
00:23 “Hmm, that kid on the missing persons website looks just like me. I should sit here and scowl for a bit.”
00:31 As coincidences go, the fact that Nathan’s only souvenir from childhood is the shirt he was wearing in the baby picture from the website (with matching stain still present for handy verification) could very well be the most egregious I have seen in a very long time. I can’t even remember a worse one right now.
00:33 Whoa. Mom’s a badass.
00:37 Time for some Hollywood Physics. The shockwave from that blast should have broken several bones and caused serious internal damage if not DEATH, and all that happened is that Lily Collins has a little scratch on her shoulder. Yeah, okay.
00:43 Sigourney knows exacty what kind of movie she’s in. The lady is not even trying to make this crap sound convincing.
00:53 On the run with a cute girl, no idea who he is, chased by the CIA… Does this sound vaguely familiar to anyone else?
00:56 How is it even slightly possible that no matter what number those two kids dial – or from what phone – they instantly get through to Alfred Molina at the CIA? And the bad guys are also listening in! Just one more level of unbelievable.
00:57 Also starring BMW, as himself. In multiple roles.
01:05 “Are we gonna die, Nathan?” “No. I won’t let that happen.” Sure thing dude. Cos you’ve done a bang-up job keeping everyone else alive so far.
01:07 With special guest: Coke! (With label turned to face the camera, in case you didn’t recognise the can anyway)
01:08 Nathan has a knock-down, drag-out fight with an Eastern European assassin in a train’s sleeper car, before throwing him out the window. This seems oddly familiar too…
01:13 And Alfred Molina gets the solitary f-bomb. That must have been in his contract. And while we’re on the subject, “f-bomb”? Seriously? I want to find the person who started that nonsense and stand in front of him saying fuck all day. It’s such a rich, useful word. And then I’m going to show him that scene from The Wire. You know the one I mean…
01:21 “You will be responsible for the death of every friend you have on Facebook” I bet Michael Nyqvist almost choked on that line. That’s probably the reason this shot is a Leone-esque close-up.
01:29 So, the bad guy has just confessed to Nathan that he killed Nathan’s mother (sorry – spoilers) and the idiot sitting next to him shows not one iota of comprehension? Is baseball really that captivating?
01:30 It must be a generational thing. Teenager Nathan getting all parkour-happy and leaping over shit running through the stadium, while the middle-aged Kozlow just charges right through people. With a gun. While nobody notices.
01:35 So they’re setting up his real father as some super-mysterious guy. He’s just a voice on a phone and a series of awkward shots of part of his face. This is crying out for a big-name cameo, but it turns out to be Dermot Mulroney. Now, nothing against Dermot Mulroney, but even I didn’t recognise him. He’s not in the credits either.
01:39 Sigourney’s back! (Yay!) And she just said “Okey-dokey” (boo!).
01:40. The End…
So that was Abduction. Was it as bad as everyone said it was? It was worse than bad; it was lazy. The truly bad films all tend to have something, some often undefinable little quirk that makes them strangely enjoyable to sit through. The Exorcist 2 is a prime example: absolute garbage but so over-dramatic that it becomes almost Shakespearean (or was that just me?), but Abduction does not have that spark. It is entirely soulless. Nothing against Taylor Lautner, he seems like a personable enough guy, but he does not have the chops to be a leading man. The Haywire experiment did not work this time either, probably because most of the big name supporting cast didn’t seem to give much of a shit.
2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers were entertaining schlock, but if one good thing comes from this movie, it will be that John Singleton quits his gun-for-hire directing career and goes back to shooting his own scripts. And goes easy on the dutch angles in future too. I was almost getting seasick more than once during Abduction.
I got up early on my day off for this? Fuck that.