This must look like an exercise in self-pity. This film did horrible at the box office and was panned by both critics and audiences alike. Why did I put it on my Netflix que? Well I actually did have a defense prepared, but Now that I look at it, I will admit that it is all a crappy excuse to probably just indulge in my curiousity.
The script originally was on the Black List, probably because of its daring concept- a boy (Taylor Lautner) notices he is on a missing person's website and then realizes that his parents aren't who they say they are. From there, the film becomes a Bourne-style action-thriller. The trailer looked bad, but then I saw the cast that was assembled (Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Nyqvist) and then John Singleton was mentioned as the director. That instantly piqued my interest. I may have only liked his debut film (Boyz n the Hood), but the strength of that alone would propel my interest (and it ended up being a mistake, perhaps I should apply this only to directors who've had a string of hits and then misses like say Olvier Stone?). So far so good/justifiable... and then there came the major factor- the film's lead.
I've yet to see a Twilight movie, but considering the other well talented directors, actors, cinematographers, composers, etc. that have worked on those films, it'd be absurd that one should just write someone off because of their association with something(and I really shouldn't as someone who plans to break into the industry, but I speak as an audience member here, not as a worker). Robert Pattinson wasn't bad in Water for Elephants or Remember Me (the scripts were the chief problem with those films) and Cosmopolis looks good. Kristen Stewart was fantastic in Adventureland although I've yet to see Welcome to the Rileys or The Runaways. So that leaves this Taylor Lautner. Well, it turns out he's bad, really bad. Not even trying to reach for much of a metaphor here, but he sucks the non-existant soul out of this movie. He is childish and annoying in a overly-angsty confused-teenager sort of way. He overdoes it and by "it", I mean every damn possible aspect of this character's being.
The filmmakers don't help much. This film is shot in a stylized manner that doesn't really befit the material or at least the limited attention that is payed to it. John Singleton keeps it simple and settles for lame choices in how this movie is handled as opposed to the risk-taking of directors like Paul Greengrass with The Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum or Joe Wright in Hanna. The script has a ridiculous start to it (am I the only one that thinks the girl played by Lily Collins is acting really creepy in how she introduced the inciting event?), but many action films do. It's all about how it's handled and how believable you want to treat it. The moment ends up just passing by leaving its awkward feeling with you as the movie goes on.
I'm going to hurry up and write another entry so this can get further pushed down the page.