Parkour! So this is about a young man that is struggling to get by (Taylor Lautner). He owes money to some dangerous people, he can’t make rent, and there just isn’t enough work at his job for him to get by. His luck may be about to change when he crosses paths with a group of Parkour burglars, as this appears to be a talent that comes to him naturally. It’s not a big secret: Taylor Lautner’s career hasn’t exactly taken off after the conclusion of the Twilight franchise. Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out 3 years ago, and the only role he has to show for himself on the big screen is that of a college frat boy in Grown Ups 2 (which might be the absolute worst way to spend 100 minutes, take it from me). If he was a bigger draw, his career may have gone in a different direction, but now Tracers is finally here, a movie that fully showcases his athletic abilities if nothing else.
I really didn’t know much about this, and from the beginning, I thought this was going to be another Premium Rush, because Lautner essentially has the occupation that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had in that film. It isn’t long before the movie makes the true purpose of why it exists known: to showcase the Parkour abilities of these actors, namely Lautner, but everybody here gets in on the action. If you aren’t familiar with what Parkour is, it is just moving from point A to point B, navigating obstacles by either climbing or jumping over them. This movement gained traction from the French series District 13, but these also made their way to the States in the form of films like Takers and Brick Mansions. Tracers is very simple in story, but for what it is trying to do, it actually succeeds for the most part.
Tracers is more stylish than what you may think, and where I award points is that it is actually shot in a way where you can tell what is going on. I don’t know how much Lautner did his own stunts, but this movie is great at showing enough of his face so that you always buy that it is him in the moment. It’s well-paced, constantly moving and enjoyable, but this is a Redbox special, so it isn’t without its flaws. It’s predictable, and Lautner is playing such a good guy, it’s comical. Also, he goes from being a Parkour amateur to bonafide expert in a 3-minute montage, which is humorous, albeit necessary for brevity’s sake. There’s something about these characters darting in front of traffic and making the situation needlessly more dangerous than it needs to be that bothers me on a base level, but I was able to get past it. If you think that you may enjoy this based on this review, I would give this a shot, but if you don’t think this is for you, steer clear, because it’s not.
Tracers (2015) ***
– Critic for Hire