Tracers movie full length review - Tracers - An Antidote To Mega Budget CGI Movies
In an age of slick polished mega-budget CGI Marvel movies, Tracers provides a refreshing antidote, with actors doing the majority of their own CGI free stunts captured by a hand held camera that injects a sense of energy into the film.
Targeting a young adult audience with a grittily realistic story in a contemporary setting, Tracers lands squarely on a gap in the market and stars Taylor Lautner, who was considered one of the hottest young actors of his generation at the start of the decade.
It's easy to see why Taylor was attracted to the project as it re-teams him with the producers of the multi-billion dollar franchise Twilight (that shot Lautner to global fame) and hooks Taylor up with the stunt co-ordinator behind the Bond and Bourne films, Gary Powell. Allowing Taylor (who trained in martial arts when he was a child) to showcase his natural athletic agility, as his character Cam attempts to escape a debt he owes to loan sharks by joining a Parkour gang who use their skills for dishonest ends.
The film zips along at a fair pace jumping straight into the action as Cam literally falls for Nikki, the love interest of the film played by Marie Avgeropoulos, who unwittingly draws Cam into the Parkour gang. Lautner has taken some criticism in the past for his acting, particularly in Abduction, his last action movie. In Tracers Lautner answers his critics, giving his most solid dramatic performance to date. It's not a showy theatrical performance, but a restrained naturalistic one that overcomes the scripts poor dialogue and convincingly conveys young Cam's emotions throughout.
Marie Avgeropoulos (best known for TV show The 100) also gives a fine performance in the film, but ultimately the chemistry between the two leads doesn't quite catch fire enough to draw the audience in. This is just one of the films flaws, which has its roots in the clunky script rather than the performances. Unfortunately the film doesn't allow enough time for their relationship to develop and nor do we truly get to understand the peril that Nikki's character is in, which makes it difficult for the audience to truly root for them.
In fact the script is where this film takes most of its tumbles, along with the underwritten character development there is a sprinkling of plot holes and a lack of variety in the action sequences. All of this might in part be due to the films US PG-13 certificate which calls for some restraint, leaving some of the dangers the characters face only hinted at. However the film has no aspirations to be Citizen Kane and these shortcomings are easy to overlook.
Despite its flaws the film has some nice touches. Spanish director, Daniel Benmayor, in making his Hollywood debut injects a real sense of raw energy into the film. As Miller, a Fagin-esque character played by Adam Rayner who controls the Parkour gang explains how the gang operates to Cam, the film segues beautifully into the next action set-piece. There is a creative use of the sound mix at moments of high tension and even the opening credits have a touch of a Saul Bass flourish about them. Honourable mention should also go to the film's music composer, Lucas Vidal and his energetic score for the movie.
Ultimately though the film, whilst enjoyable, fails to live up to its full potential. It is only Taylor Lautner's eminently watchable performance that lifts this film up and pulls the audience through. In the process he demonstrates his leading man credentials and shows Hollywood that they are missing a trick if they don't pair him up with a decent script and an experienced director soon.