16th Sep2015

‘Tracers’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Taylor Lautner, Marie Avgeropoulos, Adam Rayner, Rafi Gavron, Luciano Acuna Jr., Josh Yadon, Johnny Wu, Sam Medina, Amirah Vann, Christian Steel, Wai Ching Ho | Written by T.J. Scott, Kevin Lund, Matt Johnson | Directed by Daniel Benmayor

tracers-dvd

As a movie reviewer there’s nothing more difficult than reviewing an average movie. With terrible movies you can spew forth all the bile and hatred you want, with good (or great) movies you can rave over each an every aspect that got you excited. But with an average movie there’s very often little to say beyond “it’s OK” – and that’s what Tracers is, just OK.

Down on his luck Cam (Taylor Lautner) is barely scraping by. Drowning in debt and living out of a garage, he is desperately looking for an out. Cam’s prayers are seemingly answered when he meets the beautiful and mysterious Nikki (Marie Avgeropoulos). She introduces him to an underground world which offers high-risk excitement and quick money. Cam loves the glamour and easy money, but when the gang take on a new target, what was once a game soon becomes a case of life and death.

Yes, we’re clearly in “guy gets in trouble because of a girl” territory – a plot that has been a staple of Hollywood since men put pen to paper and wrote scripts about all those women and their feminine wiles (note the sarcasm). It’s nothing new and neither are the rest of the cliched plot points that proliferate this parkour picture. We’ve seen it all before. Which can mean only one thing:

I’m almost certain than your enjoyment of Tracers will be directly correlated to your tolerance of Taylor Lautner.

Here he once again plays the same puppy-dog, downtrodden hero he did in Abduction, bringing nothing new to the table in terms of performance or characterisation, although his parkour skills are to be commended. There’s nothing particularly exciting or innovate about the action, after all, parkour in movies is nothing new, in fact many would say its getting rather old hat – especially considering that the pioneering French crime thriller D13 set the tone and hasn’t ever really been beaten -  hell, even Lautner brought some moves to the screen in his previous action effort Abduction.

The only real highlight of Tracers is Canadian actress Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100), whilst her role maybe nothing more than female temptress, her character, Nikki, is easily the most intersting of the parkour crew with which Cam gets involved. The fact that she not only wields “power” over some of the crew, including Cam, yet she is – ultimately – subservient to them gives Mikki the most depth. The rest of the crew, including their  leader (who is NOT what he seems – in one of the most obvious twists I’ve seen in ages) are little more the two dimensional stereotypes.

In the end, Tracers is as cliched as they come. There’s little to excite or offend, and despite trying its damndest to be a gritty thriller, this is the very definition of middle of the road action flick. And, like I said in my opener, just OK. But hey, Lautner fans will no doubt lap it up.

Tracers is released on DVD on September 21st, courtesy of eOne.

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