A Roger Corman Production
Kicking off in medias res, Scott Adkins’ Quinn awakens amidst a scene of horror as he finds himself in a strange prison-like environment, locates his daughter trapped in a cage, and is then hurled out of an alien structure into a giant body of water, only to emerge from a fountain in modern day Vietnam. It’s actually a clever, cost-saving set up that establishes some of the rules of Abduction’s particular alien abduction lore, starts the movie off with a bang, and sets us off on our journey quickly and efficiently. And isn’t that just how super-producer Roger Corman likes things?
Slight and silly, but ultimately satisfying, Abduction delivers what action/sci-fi fans are looking for without leaving much of a lasting impression. If you came for the fighting, the film largely delivers. Along with Adkins’ Quinn, Abduction co-stars Andy On as Conner: a fellow total badass whose wife has gone missing thanks to the previously-alluded-to kung fu aliens. Hilariously, Abduction sees no real need to explain why these Quinns happens to be martial arts experts… he just is. That’s probably what most of Abduction’s audience came to see, so fortunately action veteran Ernie Barbarash (Assassination Games, Falcon Rising) does a good job of training his cameras on his talented stars and letting them create the magic on screen before your very eyes. While I thought I wasn’t familiar with Andy On, it turns out he starred as Black Mask in Black Mask 2 (a completely unhinged sequel that also saw him squaring off against a much less famous Scott Adkins). On actually has dozens of credits from international cinema to American films like Blackhat. He definitely makes an impression with his abilities here.
Abduction feels and looks like it was made on the cheap. But that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, especially since they invested what money they had in the right things. Adkins and On deliver what they’re best at, and play well off of one another. Perhaps more importantly, the silly but stripped down script (by Corman regular Mike Maclean) which conveniently proffers aliens who do kung fu to square off against our pugilistic heroes, really knows its limitations and keeps the scope to a manageable size. The story zips along, sets are used for multiple different set pieces, and yet the narrative never really loses us.
It’s worth noting that up and coming action film stalwart Brahim Chab plays a dual role as both a human villain and the lead kung fu alien, and as such he really does a great job of providing a formidable and physically talented opponent to make our heroes look great. Also Hong Kong action cinema man about town Mike Leeder plays a human enslaved by the aliens’ green neck jewel things, and our female lead Truong Ngoc Anh (apparently a Vietnamese superstar) appears to be having fun as Anna, a scientist forced to believe in aliens as she’s swept up in her patient Quinn’s bizarre tale.
Quick and dirty, Abduction doesn’t rise to the level of some of Adkins’ other recent output such as The Debt Collector or Avengement, but for fans of his work there’s definitely value here to check out. Andy On really does make a case for himself as a remarkable physical talent on-screen, as does Brahim Chab. And Barbarash knew his best asset was his stars and allowed them to do their thing. Abduction delivers what it promises quickly and cheaply, and in the process most likely made Roger Corman proud.
And I’m Out.
Abduction is now available on demand and VOD from Shout! Studios