October 28, 2002 12:00 PM


Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Zooey Deschanel, Gabriel Mann

Someday soon, doe-eyed Holmes is going to be a big movie star. She’s got the looks, the vulnerability and, as she has shown in smaller roles in Wonder Boys, The Gift and Go, the acting chops. But she’ll need a worthier vehicle than the feeble Abandon, the first film directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (Traffic), to transport her to the top of marquees.

Set at a university, this psychological thriller is about a smart, hard-studying student (Holmes), conveniently named Katie, whose rich beau (Hunnam), also a student, mysteriously disappears. When a police detective (Bratt) shows up two years later to figure out whether the missing boyfriend is worm food or simply on a walkabout, Katie, now a senior, starts glimpsing Mr. Gone lurking about the campus.

Holmes works hard but can’t surmount this poppycock, while Bratt has little to do besides standing around looking gorgeous but puzzled. Excellent response. (PG-13)

Bottom Line: Like the title says, a lost cause

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