Fans left disappointed by what they were dealt in 2002’s Black Mask 2: City Of Masks, didn’t exactly come away empty handed…
For all intents and purposes, it provided the fandom with the refreshing arrival of burgeoning stars Andy On and Scott Adkins who went on to perform well in their own respective endeavors. It wouldn’t be until seventeen years later under the auspices of director Ernie Barbarash (Pound Of Flesh, Assassination Games) who earned his place on the spectrum with several action releases in the past decade, ultimately being the one to finally shepherd a reunion between both stars in last year’s actioner, Abduction.
So how does it fare? Well, it comes at you out of left field quite a few times from its sci-fi angle: Adkins plays Quinn, a man lost in time and space and rendered amnesiac with a crippling speech impediment after battling supernatural beings to rescue his daughter. Awakened somewhere in Vietnam, it’s not until he’s arrested and restrained that he finally gets the help he needs in the form of a beautiful doctor, Anna (Troung Ngoc Anh), and former soldier-cum-hitman, Connor (Andy On), embroiled in seeming betrayal whilst searching for his mysteriously-disappeared wife.
Abduction starts off with a surprising opener, with a concept that centers on alien beings obsessed with Feng Shui, and continues with a few more ambitious oddities as the story moves forward. The team-up of Quinn, Anna and Connor is brief and serves a worthwhile purpose for a time until a major twist much later in the final act, and the action is as entertaining as it gets when you combine the talents of Adkins and On, along with action director Tim Man, though the film’s biggest eyesore apart from the terrible CG visuals and plot holes, is the characterization of Quinn when whose character borders on I Am Sam levels of disturbing.
While Abduction signals a role for Adkins that definitely isn’t his best, the addition of On provides a formidable and promising action thriller that ups the stakes, with On in a role that does him justice, and getting top billing with Adkins at his prime is something martial arts fans will get a kick out of.
What Abduction lacks in restraint for some of its peculiar creative direction, it makes up for in promising fan service. I don’t suspect it will get a sequel despite the ending. If it does, perhaps it will do well with some more coherent choices in its story delivery akin to the kinds of oddities observed in City Of Masks. No more of that, please.