"My Boyfriend’s Back"
What You Need To Know:
ABANDON stars Katie Holmes as a college senior haunted by the return of her boyfriend Embry, who disappeared two years earlier. Benjamin Bratt plays a cop investigating Embry’s disappearance. Embry’s estate wants to know conclusively whether he is dead or not. Katie and the cop fall in love, and Embry stalks Katie. Embry, however, is a figment of Katie’s guilty conscience. She killed him two years ago because he was going to abandon her. Katie’s father abandoned her when she was three. Obviously, she still has issues. Will Benjamin discover the truth about his new girlfriend and Embry’s whereabouts?
ABANDON is poor execution of a poor story. Full of sex and drugs, the plot is contrived. The twists are far-fetched. Sadly, the only realistic segments deal with the hopelessness and emptiness portrayed in the characters’ lives. They are all caught up in their own world of immorality and lust -- even those who are supposed to have answers, like the cop and a psychiatrist. In the end, Katie gets away with murder. ABANDON, unfortunately, may be viewed by young adult fans of Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek), thus suckering them into a depressing waste of time
(Ab, Ro, Pa, LL, VV, NN, SS, A, D, M) Strong Anti-Christian worldview as there is no clear good side or person, instead everyone is flawed and susceptible to evil as characters try to find hope in drugs, sex, and shallow relationships, rebellious character gets students to yell “I am the G_ D_ center of the infantile universe!” with pagan elements found in men’s strange attraction to female character and students’ flippant attitude about sex and drugs; 6 obscenities & 3 profanities; violence consisting of threats & rough treatment (choking and pushing) of girl by her ex-boyfriend, & two men killed by blows to the head; psychiatrist wants to have a relationship with student, older cop has relationship with student, implied fornication twice, depicted kissing, sounds of people having sex, and talk of men’s sexual attraction to girl; girl in underwear, upper male nudity, couples shown lying in bed & partial nudity;; strong alcohol abuse in two party scenes including drinking games and students taking shots of liquor; drug abuse with cop overlooking substance abuse due to his own past problems, students “tripping” on unstated substances, girl states while she’s high on drugs that “everything is perfect right now” and dreads facing reality, smoking, and girl has severe psychological problems simply treated by medications; and, wealthy student is rebellious and disrespectful, and, student lies to authorities.
ABANDON stars Katie Holmes as a college senior haunted by the disappearance, then the return, of her boyfriend Embry (Charlie Hunnam). He disappeared two years earlier. Benjamin Bratt plays a cop (and recovering alcoholic) sent to investigate Embry’s case.
As Katie begins to see Embry following her around campus, she is distracted from her work in preparation for graduation and her future after college. She has tried to get Embry out of her mind since he broke her heart two years prior. He suddenly dropped out of school and never contacted her.
Embry is introduced as a wealthy orphan with a dramatic flair. He has everything he wants, but doesn’t want any of it. He is rebellious, self-centered and self-righteous. Embry decides to have a relationship with underclassman Katie, and sweeps her off her feet. As a shy finance student, Katie gets wrapped up in the relationship with popular, and elusive, Embry.
At the end of one of his final school plays, Embry blows off the audience and departs never to be heard from again. Two years later, his estate wants to finalize his missing-persons case and get the police to investigate whether he is dead.
Bratt is assigned to the case, and starts to digging into it. In comes Katie and her friends who are preparing for graduation and their post-graduation lives. Katie is an excellent student but has been having trouble focusing on her work. She has been struggling with anxiety attacks. The return of Embry seems to magnify her problems. As Bratt enters asking questions about Embry, it is obvious she has been trying to move on but has been struggling.
Katie is surrounded by friends who entertain themselves with sex, drugs, alcohol and partying. Most of the relationships seem pretty shallow. Including her friendship with Harrison, a classmate who obviously cares more for Katie than she does for him. As the movie slowly draws on, Katie begins to see Embry as he seems to be stalking her. In one overdrawn scene, as she and her friends are in a drug-induced stupor, she sees Embry watching them. As she continues to look, she reaches out to him but he disappears. Eventually, she confronts him in person when he invites her to come see him at his old dorm, which is soon to be demolished. He is pretty rough with her, which makes you think that their relationship may have been abusive – at least emotionally.
Katie has been seeing a psychiatrist who tries to medicate her emotional and mental distress with prescription drugs. This is clearly not what she needs. Her roommate meanwhile insinuates that the doctor is attracted to Katie, as many men seem to be. Even as the cop comes into the picture more, another classmate asks him to consider why he is so interested in Katie. The movie tries to suggest that there is something about Katie that causes men to be sexually attracted to her, but it is a confusing and unclear proposition.
The movie is very choppy, slow and disorderly in trying to piece together all the components that play into the contrived plot. In the midst of the suspense of Embry’s reappearance, Katie has flashbacks of when her father left her at the age of 3. This is supposed to be a pivotal point in her life, as she is continually tormented by dreams of her father leaving, yet it does not seem to fit.
As Katie becomes more fearful of Embry, she finds solace in the lonely cop. Their relationship and supposed attraction does not make sense and seems to have been added in just to add another twist. In the midst of all this, Katie is concerned that Embry played a factor in the disappearance of Harrison, her friend who she knows was really in love with her. In the supposed climax of the film, Katie ends up sleeping with Bratt, and we are to believe that they will have a meaningful relationship. In fact, Bratt decides to leave the force (since he really didn’t like it anyway), and Katie contemplates taking a year off after school to spend time with her newfound love.
As Katie waits for Bratt to pick her up for a weekend getaway, Embry shows up and threatens her again. When Bratt arrives, he decides to settle this once and for all, and he and Katie enter the abandoned building where Embry is supposedly hiding out. As they are searching for Embry, Katie has flashbacks to the last time she saw Embry — in these same quarters as he was breaking up with her and stated he was going to Europe without her. In a state of anger and desperation, Katie struck Embry on the head, and he fell into a pool of water and drowned. While she is in flashback mode, Bratt realizes that she is disturbed and tells her that he will get her help. She cries that he can’t leave her, but he insists. So, in a repeat of her reaction to Embry, she strikes Bratt on the head, and he drowns in the same pool that Embry had two years prior. This twist is presented as a result of her desperation and grief over her father’s abandoning her as a child.
ABANDON is the poor execution of a poor story. The plot is contrived and the twists are far-fetched and hard to believe. The saddest thing about ABANDON is that the only realistic parts are the hopelessness and emptiness portrayed in the characters’ lives. They are all caught up in their own world of immorality and lust — even those who are supposed to have answers, like the cop and the psychiatrist. In the end, Katie gets away with the crimes and moves on to have a successful job. She still has issues with men, which never seem to get resolved. ABANDON unfortunately may be viewed by young adult fans of Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek), thus suckering them into a depressing and foolish waste of time.