Netflix UK film review: Tracers
Ivan Radford | On 01, Jun 2017Reading time: 2 mins
Director: Daniel Benmayor
Cast: Taylor Lautner
Watch Tracers online in the UK: Netflix UK / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
Taylor Lautner plays a bike messenger drawn into a dangerous parkour gang in Tracers. That’s the kind of sentence destined for the movie history books. Taylor Lautner. Bike messenger. Dangerous parkour gang. However you break it down, it doesn’t get any better – except for one key word: parkour. That most implausible of plot points makes for a surprisingly entertaining B-movie, elevating a piece of trash to, at the very least, an enjoyable piece of trash.
Taylor Lautner is hardly the action movie star that the filmmakers want him to be. Since Twilight, films such as Abduction have failed to catapult the erstwhile teen wolf into a big blockbuster draw, with Lautner instead finding himself a more natural home in the comedy of BBC Three’s Cuckoo. Here, he’s satisfactory enough as our troubled lead, Cam, who falls in with a gang that includes a token romantic interest and dubious boss.
Sure enough, the script (which is written by five different people) stuffs its 94 minutes with dull cliches upon cliches, as Cam finds himself attracted to Nikki (Marie Avgeropoulos), who is currently in a relationship with gang leader Miller (Adam Rayner). Nonsense with the Chinese mafia, government informers and a diamond heist only makes things more laughable.
But the real stars of this ludicrously entertaining show are the people behind the scenes: Homeland DoP Nelson Cragg takes handheld camerawork to the extreme with GoPro-style footage that follows its free-runners through their ridiculous stunts – an approach that, combined with agile editing, is highly effective and delivers both a strong sense of location and unique action sequences with genuine tension. When Tracers stops moving, things hilariously fall apart, but as long it keeps you on your toes, arms, elbows and knees, this is brainless fun to watch. Walking down the street never seemed so exciting.
Tracers is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.