ABANDON is a sleep-inducing thriller with a single twist that everyone except
the characters in it can see coming a mile away. Surprisingly, this slapdash
piece of work is written and directed by TRAFFIC's writer, Stephen Gaghan.
TRAFFIC had more on its mind in any one scene that ABANDON has in the entire
The only thing good you can say about ABANDON is that it stars two good-looking
actors, Katie Holmes (WONDER BOYS) and Benjamin Bratt ("Law and Order"). The
script is filled with way too many parts, all underwritten. Tony Goldwyn, Zooey
Deschanel, Gabrielle Union and Fred Ward are among the supporting cast that are
wasted on the threadbare script.
Bratt plays Detective Wade Handler, a troubled cop who is thinking of quitting
the force. He is investigating the mysterious disappearance two years ago of
Embry Langan (Charlie Hunnam). Embry is, or was, a wealthy, artistic flake --
an insufferably pompous blend of Andy Warhol and Wolfgang Mozart. His
ex-girlfriend, Catherine "Katie" Burke (Katie Holmes), clearly has something to
hide about his disappearance. Soon after the detective starts snooping around,
Katie, and only Katie, begins to see Embry again.
Among the many unbelievable scenes is the one in which Katie just shows up at
the detective's apartment. Although she is his chief witness, he invites her to
stay. And, oh well, you get the idea.
One guy in our audience yawned loudly in what should have been the tense final
act. This generated some rolling laughter. I felt like applauding -- not for
the movie, but for the yawner who so accurately expressed my opinion. ABANDON
opens opposite a real thriller, THE RING. Hopefully, smart viewers will flock
to the real McCoy and avoid the snoozer.
ABANDON runs 1:39. It is rated PG-13 for "drug and alcohol content, sexuality,
some violence and language" and would be acceptable for most teenagers. I don't
understand why the MPAA would give a PG-13 rating to a film that shows frequent
and casual drug usage among college students. This film should have gotten an
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes