Folly of youth
In his new film Tracers, Taylor Lautner proves yet again that young men are foolish
Here's the thing about young men: they do stupid things.
They do stupid things for fun.
They do stupid things to make a quick buck.
They do stupid things to prove something to themselves or the world.
They do stupid things to impress girls.
And in the case of Taylor Lautner's character in his new action flick Tracers - currently showing here - it's all of the above.
Lautner stars as Cam, a bicycle messenger who joins a criminal parkour gang to pay off some debts and get closer to a hot babe.
He is but the latest in an endless line of foolish youths who have gone over the edge, and had to scramble desperately to make it back alive.
Taylor LAUTNER as Cam in Tracers (2015)
Cam is nice but dumb.
He's nice for borrowing money to save his mother's house. He's dumb for borrowing the money from the Chinese mafia.
His job as a bicycle messenger won't pay the debt, so he commits crimes with a bunch of parkour guys.
For a start, jumping off buildings is just inherently dumb. I don't care how well-trained you are.
Do you notice that you've never seen an old parkour guy? That's because natural selection has done its job.
The one smart thing that Cam does is to woo the lovely Nikki (Marie Avgeropoulos). The duo ended up dating in real life, but split in January.
Not hanging on to a girl like that also strikes me as foolish.
Foolish youth rating: 8/10
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT as Wilee in Premium Rush (2012)
Wilee is a law school graduate, which would seem to indicate that he's not that dumb.
But the fact that he chooses to risk his life every day as a bicycle messenger instead of practising law indicates that maybe he is a bit dumb.
And the fact that he prefers to ride with no brakes indicates that he is in fact very dumb.
Gordon-Levitt, who actually comes across as very smart in real life, is excellent in this high-velocity crime caper.
Foolish youth rating: 6/10
SEAN FARIS as Jake Tyler in Never Back Down (2008)
In real life, fighting solves nothing. Ever.
In the dumb world of movies, fighting solves everything. Always.
In Never Back Down, in which mixed martial arts gets the Karate Kid treatment, Jake is the kind of guy who doesn't want to fight, but who always gets into fights anyway.
Anyway, he trains with an mixed martial arts master (Djimon Hounsou) to deal with his caveman nemesis Ryan (Cam Gigandet).
Long story short: He beats up the guy, and they all live happily ever after.
Foolish youth rating: 7/10
PAUL WALKER as Brian O'Conner in The Fast And The Furious (2001)
The Fast And The Furious, as well as its endless sequels, contains a higher concentration of youth-related stupidity than any other film or franchise.
Brian is a cop who street-races in order to infiltrate the criminal gang of Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), and ends up joining the family.
Racing cars on the street is dumb. The ending, where the guys race a train, is even dumber.
Even so, great fun. Can't wait for Furious 7!
Foolish youth rating: 9/10
KEANU REEVES as Johnny Utah in Point Break (1991)
This was the film that really set the template for the likes of The Fast And The Furious and Tracers.
FBI agent Utah is tasked with infiltrating a gang of criminal surfers, but he ends up in a bromance with their leader Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).
Reeves is sort of a poster boy for dumbness, and Utah is his piece de resistance - like when he parachutes without a parachute.
That said, Point Break is more meta-stupid than actually stupid. It's the Mona Lisa of extreme sports flicks.
Foolish youth rating: 10/10