Abandon
Paramount // PG-13 // October 18, 2002
Review by Todd Siechen | posted October 21, 2002
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If I find entertainment only in the last 20 minutes of a movie then I would call it a failure. In the movie "Abandon", the entire film seems to hinge on the ending which didn't matter anyway by the time we get there since the body of the film just wasn't interesting. I will admit that a few of the characters were mildly appealing, but it just wasn't enough to save the sinking plot.

Katie Holmes plays Catherine Burke, a senior at an elite college who is under tremendous pressure to finish her thesis, and land a high end job. She also faces a persistent, recovering detective, Wade Handler (Benjamin Bratt) who has been assigned to investigate the dissappearance of her rich ex-boyfriend, Embry Langan (Charlie Hunnam) who is suspected of either being dead, or hiding out somewhere. Despite the dissapearance 2 years earlier, Embry begins to appear in various places and harrass Catherine. An innocent, sweet relationship begins to develop between Handler and Catherine, but she is hesitant to let it go too far too fast.

Wihout giving anything away, I nodded my head at the end, finally understanding why many of the events earlier in the film had taken place, but despite this fact, the body of the film just made me feel sleepy. There are many poorly edited and paced sequences that had me scratching my head in confusion. I just had way too many questions in the middle of the film and not nearly enough suspense. The scenes of Catherine seeing her ex-boyfriend Wade were the high suspense points, but even these were just not handled very well considering the ending. Much of the college life was portrayed very well with Catherine preparing for job placement and study time and there is even some memorable performances by supporting stars as students who play some very interesting characters.

Summary:This film may actually hold up better upon a repeat viewing, but the first time through I just found my mind wandering in and out of the story as it unfolded. It does a nice job with the dark style used in the production and visuals, and the characters were interesting, but just not taken anywhere. If you are a die-hard suspense fan then this film may appeal to you, but for mainstream movie-goers I would say rent it.


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