The Abduction Club (12)

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The View Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/07/2002

Three out of five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Silly, and riddled with plot-holes and inconsistencies, but an enjoyable enough piece of romantic tosh - it's nicely played and ticks along at a decent enough pace.

At first glance, The Abduction Club might seem like 'Plunkett & McClane 2: The Return', given the masks / pistols ensemble of its main characters. That's not far off the general feel of the film, though the subject matter is different and it opts to drop the modern music and post-modern dialogue, instead choosing to play it straight.

The result is an entertaining, if undeniably silly slice of pure Mills & Boon, plucky heroines, heaving bodices and all.

Kidnapping Eligible Women

The film is set in Ireland, circa 1780. Younger sons of wealthy families are routinely denied their inheritance, so they form a club devoted to kidnapping eligible women and 'persuading' them to marry them.

However, one such kidnapping goes horribly wrong when the aforementioned plucky heroine (the sister of the designated abductee) decides to come along for the ride...

The film is, for the most part, nicely played, with lead actor Daniel Lapaine coming across as a sort of bargain-basement Jude Law and sidekick Matthew Rhys having a bit more luck with the darker, brooding role.

The Next Kate Winslet

It's Sophia Myles as Anne who really stands out though, eclipsing the nominal heroine (Alice Evans) and stealing every scene she's in, marking herself out as a talent to watch in the future. Expect to see the words "the next Kate Winslet" (to whom she bears a slight resemblance) in a Sunday supplement feature near you soon.

In general, it's all very silly stuff (though, to their credit, they resist the obvious tongue-in-cheek moments), and isn't helped by the odd continuity lapse - one scene in particular switches between torrential rain and bright sunshine several times.

However, ultimately the film succeeds precisely because of its sense of fun. There's a fair amount of humour in the film, as well as the most blatantly laughable homoerotic subtext you'll see all year (keep your eye on the "evil" character).

To sum up, then, The Abduction Club is an undeniably silly, but nonetheless enjoyable slice of romantic nonsense that's definitely worth seeing for Sophia Myles' performance. If you like your heroes square-jawed and dashing and your heroines corseted to the nines, then this is the film for you. And it's British too, damnit.

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Content updated: 26/09/2015 21:01

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