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Abandon (2002)

Watch who you leave behind

Directed by:

Stephen Gaghan

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 99 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

For a film so ridiculously bad, ‘Abandon’ takes itself surprisingly seriously. Set in and around surely the most dimly-lit university campus in the whole of the United States, it stars Katie Holmes as a grade-A student who takes a break from tax-dodging, staying in bed until the middle of the afternoon and complaining about the cost of food (but still having enough money for booze, no doubt!!) to go a little bit off her rocker.

Things start to go a tad askew for the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ alumnus when swarthy detective Benjamin Bratt turns up and starts asking questions about a particularly-pretentious boyfriend (Charlie Hunnam) who went missing a few years back. But has Lovekins just taken an extra-long vacation, or is he – drum-roll, please – dead? Let’s hope it’s the latter – and that it was extremely painful.

Although boasting plenty of killable characters, the film can’t come up with a single likable one. In fact, it’s a tough call deciding which of the main players – Holmes’ Katie or Hunnam’s Embry – is the more obnoxious. Personally I’m going to go for Embry, but only because there’s a fair chance that his death – if, indeed he’s even dead – was caused by his body imploding under the gargantuan external weight of his own ego.

Writer-director Stephen Gaghan picked up an Oscar two years previously for penning the Traffic screenplay, but if this is a more accurate representation of his talents then that award is starting to look like a whopping great miscalculation on the Academy’s part. Not only is he unable to tease passable performances out of a fairly-sturdy cast from the comfort of his director’s chair, but his self-written script is among the most dreary of 2002.

It's Got: One of the most predictable twists of recent years.

It Needs: Bit-part player Fred Ward to bring along one of his co-stars from ‘Tremors’ (i.e. a giant carnivorous slug) to boost the bum-level entertainment levels.

DVD Extras Cast and crew bios. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

The Gift, The Hole

Summary

It’s called ‘Abandon’ – and that’s exactly what you should do.

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