Taylor Lautner’s post-“Twilight” movie career stumbled a bit after the stunning flop of his action-adventure movie “Abduction.” But there’s no question that he still has Hollywood action hero looks and rippling physique to be a winner.
In newly released outtakes from Total Film magazine, Lautner, 19, shows off his rugged good looks in a ripped t-shirt and jeans, putting his muscular arms and flat abs on display.
Lionsgate won a bidding war for the screenplay to “Abduction.” It paid $1 million mostly because Lautner was attached to the film.
The film, directed by John Singleton, was shot on a diminutive budget of $35 million. In contrast, Tom Cruise’s latest action-adventure movie, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” had a $145 million budget. So Lionsgate’s exposure was low going into the picture.
At the time, he was riding high from his “Twilight” role as werewolf Jacob Black and secondary love interest of Kristen Stewart’s character Bella Swan.
The film opened last September in North America and had a disappointing debut weekend. It grossed $10.9 million despite opening in more than 3,000 theaters. What’s worse the critics hated it. More than 90 percent of the reviews were negative, according to review tracking site rottentomatoes.
Fortunately much of the criticism was targeted at the movie plot and not so much Lautner’s acting ability. Lautner is “not a terrible actor, but if he wants a career after the Twilight fades, he’ll pick better films,”
wrote Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly.
But Lautner took some shots, too. “Singleton is poorly equipped to handle teenage angst, a fact made far worse by cringe-worthy dialogue and a wooden leading man who proves that he has not yet developed the skills required to carry a film,” wrote Catherine Brown of Filmink.
The ending isn’t all bad. After a weak opening, the film went on to gross $28 million domestically and $54 million worldwide for an $82 million total, largely on Lautner’s bankability. The DVD went on sale Jan. 17.
For his part, the athletic Lautner, who loves physical challenges, enjoyed doing his own stunts in both “Abduction” and the “Twilight” franchise “It was awesome! I got to do almost all of my own stunts,” he said. “I love the stunts, so to be able to have that opportunity was incredible.”
He’ll reprise his role as Jacob Black in “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” in November.