For all you Taylor Lautner fans not reading this right now, you're going to love this movie. For everyone else, if you're not allowed to add your own commentary, you'll be contorting your body uncomfortably for 110 minutes at your desire to do so. Director John Singleton emerged from a six year hiatus to bring us an immeasurable number of close up shots of the moneymaker's face with a spy movie garnish.
Adolescence is enough of an identity crisis even without being secretly adopted by spy foster care services when you were a toddler. Unfortunately, that's exactly the situation that poor Nathan (Lautner) ends up in, and when the espionage hits the fan, he has to fight his way to normalcy again. He has to take along his hot neighbor Karen (Lily Collins) and figure out who to trust in a world of adults who all look and act exactly the same (except the bad guy, who has an accent). His real father stole a list from the the evil Kozlow (Michael Nyquist), who wants to find Nathan and use him as leverage to get the list back. So naturally when Nathan finds out he's the son of a spy he puts on a leather jacket and starts roundhouse kicking adults in the chest. There are deaths on a train, lots of sneaking through the woods, shirtlessness, and calls on cell phones.
For everyone not prepared to watch this movie ironically, don't expect anything new from the "spy kid" genre. Although the story is an interesting idea, there is next to nothing intriguing about the characters or situations they end up in. It's just an average "who do you trust" action thriller, although I use the term thriller very loosely. You get tons of TLaut in the film, so if you have a thing for werewolves, this is your film. He gets plenty of screen time to let his expressionless face play second fiddle to his freakishly developed biceps.
Now, anyone looking for a fun movie to make fun of, this one comes close to fitting the bill. His "therapist" Dr. Bennett (Sigourney Weaver) constantly encourages him to ignore his feelings and suppress memories, his adopted father makes him kickbox against his will, and Kozlow threatens to kill all of Nathan's Facebook friends. I was laughing harder than at the most recent Ryan Reynolds comedy. And also, the film also makes a great case for always wearing proper footwear. Karen gets stuck running about town in flimsy flats, when she was doing the work of someone who needed Pumas. Do you see what I mean about this being a fun film to make fun of? Normally with Singleton's movies I am all tied up in the perils of being human in an unfair world. With this one, I was paying attention to wardrobe.