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Abandon (2002)

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Plot Summary:
"Catherine Burke (Holmes) is under pressure. She faces exams, completion of her thesis, and a competitive interview process, all of which is compounded when a police detective, Wade Handler (Bratt), begins investigating the two year-old disappearance of her boyfriend, Embry Langan (Hunnam), a young man whose memory haunts and obsesses her. As the investigation continues, Catherine is forced to choose between her past passions and new possibilities, even as Handler is discovering surprising new facts about Embry and his possible connection to another disappearance from campus."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 03 August 2003 My Rating: out of 5


This ghostly thriller limped it's way onto video and DVD last week without warning, months after it's poor box office performance stateside. But is the movie simply misunderstood or were audiences right to abandon it?

On first viewing, the film was just an okay way to spend minutes, with a strong cast and some nice locations to complement the cinematography but it was ultimately all style over substance.

The premise sees already overstressed college student Katie's (Katie Holmes) life thrown into turmoil when she begins to receive notes from her presumed dead boyfriend who disappeared years previously.

The idea of a loved one appearing to physically haunt a person seemed like an interesting idea but ultimately isn't that interesting to watch. Yes, Katie Holmes is a good and talented actress who is more than capable of carrying a film on her shoulders, the only problem is that the film simply isn't that interesting.

Nothing happens, there are two moments of mild suspense lasting about a minute each in total and the cast are severely underused in their respective under developed parts. However, following the advice of a contact who worked on the film, I must say that I did appreciate it more the second time and picked up on a lot more of the subtle aspects.

Ultimately the film is so slowly paced that you feel as though you have been watching it forever by the time you reach the climax. I must say the ending was satisfying enough, and I did feel a lot of sympathy for Katie Holmes character, though that is decidedly more to do with her talents than the scripting.

Not very exciting yet watchable. The good cast leads me to believe that Director Stephen Gaghan set out to make a better film than we ended up getting.

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