Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
Starring: Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Zooey Deschanel, Gabrielle Union | Directed by: Stephen Gaghan | Produced by: Lynda Obst, Edward Zwick, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber | Written by: Stephen Gaghan | Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Abandon—to give up, lose interest or to withdraw.
Mr. Webster’s dictionary sums up by definition my feelings about this film. “Abandon” is an awful blend of two popular movies: “A Beautiful Mind” and “What Lies Beneath”. While the plot lines explored could have worked, the recipe still unfortunately needed a lot of work. My suggestion: heed the title and abandon any thought of seeing this movie. It is one of the worst thrill-free thrillers that I’ve ever seen.
Katie Holmes stars as Katie. She’s a college student struggling to complete her senior year. We witness her battle to prepare for final exams and write a final thesis. Benjamin Bratt plays a police detective who is assigned a two-year old case of a missing student. His character is recovering from substance abuse and this case is the department’s way of helping him ease back into full-time duty. The missing student is Katie’s old boyfriend. Just as the detective begins to explore the case, Katie is convinced that the boyfriend has returned. The plot continues with some of the worst dialogue that you can imagine.
Let me expose briefly what I’m talking about here. The police detective has one scene where he is participating in an AA meeting. He shares how his path of substance abuse got out of hand. One time he came home and found blood and some hair on his front bumper. He (a police detective) did not know if it was animal or human (would someone please call C.S.I.). My other strong objection (the “Dawson Creek” gang that might be tempted to see this one) is the sexual and drug content. There is a strong presence of casual sex in this film and premarital sex is not only discussed but also glorified. The use of drugs and alcohol is presented as an acceptable form of release from college stress. There is one drawn-out scene where all four friends together experience an ectasy-induced high.
Skip “Abandon” and don’t even think of renting this one. Sorry, Katie Holmes fans, this one is a real dog, or should I say an ugly stray.
Year of Release—2002