Love on the Run
"Abducted" is simply a cliche TV movie, it works on the cliche of a corrupt prison warden and then adds a big dose of the cliche innocent man on the run trying to prove his innocence but it is simply a cliche. But it's not a bad cliche movie, maybe not as subtle as it could be but it is entertaining as we go from the first half which is all about the corrupt warden to the second with the fugitive trying to prove his innocence. And the greatest thing about "Abducted" is simply that director Richard Roy paces it brilliantly, never trying to make it anything more than it is and allowing us to enjoy the ride which is basically watching Jack trying to keep one step ahead of the law whilst proving his innocence.
Prison warden Tom Stone (Eric Breker) has political ambitions and that first step on the ladder is to win the campaign to become Mayor. But in order to do so he blackmails prisoner Jack Carlson (Andrew W. Walker - Lies and Deception) to kidnap and murder his wife Melanie (Sarah Wynter - The 6th Day) partly so that he can win the sympathy vote but also so she doesn't upset things because she knows he is having an affair with his campaign manager. But Jack has ulterior motives to go along with the blackmail as he was sentenced for a murder he didn't commit and plans to prove his innocence whilst not killing Melanie who when she discovers the truth decides to help him.
So "Abducted" is basically cliche with the first half being all about the cliche of a Prison Warden who is willing to twist things to what he wants. He may not be physically or psychologically abusive to the prisoners but he is willing to use them and anyone to further his ambitions. So we watch as he manipulates Jack into kidnapping Melanie with the orders to kill her and whilst there is no depth to this and a lot which you have to take for granted it is a nice twist on the usual sadistic Prison Warden set up.
Now we are supposed to have this mystery as Jack kidnaps Melanie and doesn't immediately tell her what is going on, bundling her in to the trunk of the car as he drives to somewhere secret leaving a false trail for the pursuing US Marshall's but it is very obvious. You know Jack isn't going to hurt because it is plainly obvious he fancies Melanie so when he tells the truth, not only what Tom had asked him to do but his ulterior motive of clearing his name it is no surprise, in fact there is something a little clever about this. But then this leads into the cliche of Jack and Melanie trying to keep ahead of the US Marshall's as they close in on them but in typical fashion they begin to question what is really going on and whether Jack was innocent to start with.
The thing is that all of this is very shallow, there is not great depth or originality to "Abducted" and you do watch it thinking about what big screen movies it is like. But whilst nothing more than cliche it is worth watching with some reasonable atmosphere and great pacing. That is where it is strongest because it jogs along at a good pace so you are never left with too many gaps between moments of drama. And to be honest the pairing of Sarah Wynter as Melanie and Andrew W. Walker as Jack makes it easy on the eye.
What this all boils down to is that "Abducted" is nothing more that a TV movie version of bigger movies, working through familiar cliches and doing little to make them feel more original. But thanks to the decent pacing and several moments of drama it is entertaining even if the lack of subtlety will probably make you groan more than once.
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