Review: Abandon

Posted by: Dean Kish  //  October 18, 2002 @ 11:59am

Filed under: Reviews

Abandon is a university campus thriller that follows the exploits of one Katie Burke (Katie Holmes) who is devotedly pushing her way through her financial thesis. Her thesis is her life and anything that seems to interfere with it drives Katie to the point of paranoia. This feeling begins to strangle Katie when she swears she witnesses the return of her ex-boyfriend Embry (Charlie Hunnam) who disappeared two years previous.

Katie witnessing Embry's return prompts Detective Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt) to question Katie and look further into the truth of Embry's disappearance. What will Wade find? How or why did Embry disappear?

Abandon for me was one of the most boring and meandering thrillers I have seen in recent memory. The film's pacing is slow and often times very pointless. The plot revelations made me yawn and the film's twist ending was almost as clever as the latest direct-to-video thriller starring Shannon Tweed. I was to put it bluntly bored to tears with this film. I can't believe some critics are saying this drivel is better than "The Ring".

What made me smile were the film's final credits. In the credits, the concept for the story is said to have been "suggested by" Sean Desmond's novel "Adams Fall". Wasn't the protagonist in that novel male, and wasn't he haunted by the suicide of a student? How in the world did they get this movie from that book? This film wasn't "adapted", "based on", or even "inspired by"... it was suggested by a third party who wasn't even the author. What a croc!

I have always found Katie Holmes to be very appealing and interesting to watch. She was razor-sharp in last year's The Gift where she played a spoiled debutante tart. That role was leaps and hurdles from her television persona. In this film she just seems to be playing a more stressed out version of her television persona, who may or may not have a screw loose.

Another thing I found extremely hard to believe was her romantic encounter with Benjamin Bratt's cop. She basically sleeps with every other guy in the film, why not sleep with the cop? Another thing about the sleeping around that bugged me was there were no love scenes. It was like watching Playboy After Dark on the Bible channel.

I had to laugh at the conception of Benjamin Bratt's cop in this film. He is like every other cop we have seen on film. Of course, this cop is also flawed. He is a recovering alcoholic who gives pretty young co-eds his home number and asks them to come over. He also isn't sure if he should be a cop. Damn, this character is daft, dull and boring. The only way this guy could have been more pathetic and clich├ęd was if he was played by Andrew Stevens.

Abandon will abandon you about 20 minutes in, and if you have enough stamina you may see a couple interesting scenes. Other than that, Abandon is just plain painful to sit through. (1.5 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer.

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