Triumph over adversity is showcased in "Abducted: a Father's Love," a vidpic lamely directed by Chuck Bowman and clumsily penned by Joel Oliansky, Kurt Inderbitzin and Victoria Karess. Most of the acting borders on parody, but Christopher Noth somehow telegraphs authority and sincerity out of the morass.

Triumph over adversity is showcased in “Abducted: a Father’s Love,” a vidpic lamely directed by Chuck Bowman and clumsily penned by Joel Oliansky, Kurt Inderbitzin and Victoria Karess. Most of the acting borders on parody, but Christopher Noth somehow telegraphs authority and sincerity out of the morass.

Part owner of an eatery, Noth is married to drinking Loryn Locklin, who doesn’t take much care of their wee daughter and indulges herself with cyclist Roman Podhora. When Noth separates from Locklin, he finds how neglectful she’s been to the baby; he tries through legal channels to solve the problem, but hits dead ends. Finally, he slips off with the child on an odd odyssey.

One point of the story becomes evident when he contacts an underground org that hides troubled young mothers who are trying to find new lives with their children. The group, run by Natalie Cole, trains Noth to answer to another name, to hit the road and get another job through their multi-city network.

He meets fleeing, attractive Megan Gallagher, who has two daughters (and more sense than he has when he wants to team up). Discovered by an FBI agent overplayed by Peter MacNichol, Noth is trapped. With the amusingly stilted Stepfanie Kramer as his mouthpiece, Noth faces the consequences and the writers’ absurd resolution to his marital woes.

Noth does lots of running, and he gives the character a becoming earnestness. Cole and Locklin are OK, and Daniel Roebuck as Noth’s longtime buddy summons up some realism for the potboiler.

Ron Orieux’s moody camerawork can’t compete with the far-fetched script and characters, but Jonathon Braun’s editing is good. Brent Thomas’ production design serves well with its atmosphere-loaded interiors and its many sites concocted to rep several American cities.

Nbc Sunday Night at the Movies Abducted: A Father's Love

(Sun. (31), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production

Filmed in British Columbia by Zev Braun Prods. and Jones Entertainment Group. Exec producer, Zev Braun; co-exec producers, Paulette Breen, Ken Schwartz, Philip Krupp; producer, Peter Katz; co-producer, Colleen Nystedt; director, Chuck Bowman; writers, Joel Oliansky, Kurt Inderbitzin, Victoria Karess.

Crew

Camera, Ron Orieux; editor, Jonathon Braun; production designer, Brent Thomas; art director, Helen Jarvis; sound, Ralph Parker; music, Joseph Conlan; principal casting, Maureen Arata; Vancouver casting, Sid Kozak, Lindsay Walker.

Cast

Cast: Chris Noth, Loryn Locklin, Megan Gallagher, Daniel Roebuck, Donzaleigh Abernathy, Teryl Rothery, Stepfanie Kramer, Natalie Cole, Peter MacNicol, Holly Chant, Roman Podhora, Venus Terzo, Malcolm Stewart, Andrew Airlie, David Neale, Fred Henderson, Don MacKay, Andrea Barclay, Fulvio Cecere, Sean Allen, Doris Chilcott, Brent Sheppard, James Bell, Christine Hadvick, Gerry Rousseau, Barry Levy, Ingrid Torrance, David Lewis, Doug Abrahams, Merrilyn Gann, Richard Sali, Jennifer Jasey.

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