Tracers is not a good movie and it’s easy to see why it didn’t get a wide release and instead quietly was released onto home video. Taylor Lautner actually isn’t the problem, though Hollywood should stop trying to make him into an action star, but instead it’s a ridiculous plot and overwrought character drama that bogged the film down. That said, the parkour action scenes were very well done.
Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Crime
Lionsgate | PG13 – 94 min. – $19.99 | May 12, 2015
THE MOVIE – 2.5/5
Hollywood is trying to make Taylor Lautner into a star or at least draw in the Twilight fans but between the generic and ho-hum Abduction and now Tracers, it’s clear Lautner is no action-thriller star and destined for the DTV market if studios continue to insist on pushing him as a leading man.
Tracers centers on bike messenger Cam (TAYLOR LAUTNER) who is up to his eyeballs in debt with a Chinese loan shark, can barely make ends meet in his current job and paying minimal rent at $550/month which, even in a converted garage, is a steal in NYC. While on a run to deliver a package, he crosses paths with a fleeing woman utilizing parkour causing Cam to crash his bike, bending the front wheel which, in one of the first laughably illogical scenes, completely trashes it when he could’ve gotten something for what was left. I guess at that moment he forgot he needed to pay rent and all…
This woman, who we find out is named Nicky (MARIE AVGEROPOULOS or as I like to call her, Selena Gomez on a budget) and feeling bad for wrecking his ride, gives him a sweet new bike… which dumbass Cam leaves, albeit chained, by a street post where it gets swiped while he chased down Nicky so he could get to know her better. During this process, he meets her friends and fellow parkourers (?) though they don’t take much of a liking to him.
Meanwhile, Cam’s money troubles only get deeper having to sell off a tool set he needed to fix up a car once owned by his late father and the Chinese muscle man (JOHNNY WU) is putting the pressure on him as with the vig on his loan is piling up, owing a cool $15k. We find out later why he went to such extremes just to make sure our main character isn’t a gambling junkie or anything.
In any case, soon enough Cam himself trains in parkour and gets pretty good at it to the point where he catches the eye of Miller (ADAM RAYNER), the leader of the gang which includes Nicky, her brother Dylan (RAFI GAVRON), Tate (LUCIANO ACUNA JR.) and Jax (JOSH YADON). But this gang isn’t just into jumping around the city skylines but is in fact criminals hired for odd jobs and decent pay, which Cam quickly finds out of course and wants in. Little did he know the crimes would be the least of his problems. When he falls for Nicky only to discover she belongs to Miller who might be just as dangerous as those who hold his debt…
Tracers was directed by Daniel Benmayor marking his third feature film and, from what I can discern, first film released in the U.S. (at least on a larger scale). It’s actually his direction, in conjunction with the parkour sequences that turns a bad movie into a tolerable one. The chase scenes are well choreographed and although the screenplay, co-scripted by Matt Johnson who wrote Torque, had much to be desired with overwrought drama where character backgrounds included a mother dying of cancer and a girl being sexually molested, it’s not an all together terrible film.
Now, I won’t say it’s particularly good or well acted, Taylor Lautner for his part isn’t great but he doesn’t have much to work with, but I kind of liked Adam Rayner playing the primary antagonist and Marie Avgeropoulos makes for a fine female lead, albeit it is the clichéd romantic lead, yet she looks the part and does what she can with such a thinly written character.
All in all, Tracers is barely a rental and outside of a tame, PG-13 rated, sex scene and some language, this is a movie primed to air on Spike, USA Network or TNT and for what it’s worth, I suppose the fans of Twilight might enjoy it, for others, you can skip this one entirely in spite of the well directed/choreographed parkour scenes.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.
The Art of Motion: The Making of Tracers (11:13; HD) is a general rundown on the movie’s plot and characters with interviews by members of the cast and crew. You won’t get that much out of it.
Director’s Pitch Reel (2:25; HD) is footage that Daniel Benmayor created as a way to get the job to direct the film.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Tracers jumps onto Blu-ray though Lionsgate presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture quality itself isn’t anything special but does offer up sharp detail throughout and colors tend to be on the bright side while dark levels show no signs of artifacts or pixilation. It might not be something you’d show off but it is more than adequate.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track was actually a bit on the disappointing side. Although dialogue sounded crisp and clear, the more action-oriented scenes hardly packed a punch and instead came across soft at times and not at all very dynamic or show off depth. For a movie of this quality it might be passable however it’s a shame the best parts didn’t exactly blow me away.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Tracers is not a good movie and it’s easy to see why it didn’t get a wide release and instead quietly was released onto home video. Taylor Lautner actually isn’t the problem, though Hollywood should stop trying to make him into an action star, but instead it’s a ridiculous plot and overwrought character drama that bogged the film down. That said, the parkour action scenes were very well done. The Blu-ray offers good video, decent audio and a thin set of bonus material.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.