Abandon | Chicago Reader

Abandon

Stephen Gaghan, who scripted this turkey, landed in the director's chair after Edward Zwick (Glory) bailed out, and you can almost smell the flop sweat. Katie Holmes plays a stressed-out university senior whose sweetheart, an arrogant golden boy only a mother could love, has been missing for two years; Benjamin Bratt, typecast as a police detective and given a drinking problem to make him dimensional, gets assigned to the cold case, starts poking around campus, and finds himself weirdly drawn to the young woman. The film indulges in one of those fashionable shocker endings that force the viewer to radically reevaluate the entire story, though in this case it has the added burden of explaining away most of the characters' absurd behavior. Gaghan would have needed one hell of a lead actress to pull this off; Holmes, best known for the TV teen drama Dawson's Creek, flounders in the role like a child in her father's overcoat. 93 min.

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