Taylor Lautner squanders a little more of his “Twilight” heat on “Tracers,” a B-movie thriller built around the urban obstacle course sport of “parkour.” It’s a stunt-heavy chase picture with some arresting camera work, but not much else to recommend it.
Lautner is Cam, a wildly-skilled bicycle messenger with more than his share of bad luck. He’s lost his parents, is in hock to some Chinatown loan sharks (Johnny M. Wu, Sam Medina) and behind on his rent. Then some parkour-crazed hottie (Marie Avgeropoulos) causes a crash that crushes his bike.
She crushes on Cam and gives him a new bike. He tracks her down, and that’s when he falls in with her crew, guys (Rafi Gavron, Adam Raynor, Luciano Acuna Jr., Josh Yadon) who skitter up walls, scamper over rooftops, hurtle cars and leap, balcony to balcony in an effort to prove they can cover the shortest distance between two points — parkour. It’s also called “free running” and “tracing.” That’s what Cam learns.
It took four screenwriters to concoct this “Point Break” style story, with Miller (Raynor) as the group’s leader and guru.
“There are no limits, my friend, only plateaus.” “The real obstacles aren’t out there. They’re in your head.”
These practitioners use their parkour for heists, one of which is staged with a little verve (the rest, not so much). Cam, with reservations, joins in the lucrative fun.
Lautner seems to do enough of his own stunts to have credibility on a bike or clambering down a wall. He’s charismatic enough to make this work, and director Daniel Benmayor (“Paintball”) has the camera crew chase him through some scenes, an invigorating touch.
But the limp, derivative script and thin supporting cast work against “Tracers.” There’s little heft to the villains, little spark with the leading lady and not much to recommend this aside from those chases and Lautner’s mastery of some of the stunts.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for some intense violence, perilous action, sexual content and language
Cast: Taylor Lautner, Marie Avgeropoulos, Rafi Gavron, Adam Rayner, Johnny M. Wu
Credits: Directed by Daniel Benmayor, script by Leslie Bohem
Matt Johnson, Kevin Lund, T.J. Scott . A Lionsgate release.
Running time: 1:34