August Rush (2007)

<strong class="MovieTitle">August Rush</strong> (2007)

(On DVD, October 2008) As sugary-sweet as it is lazily put-together, this unabashedly romantic fable is mistaken in thinking that the simple mechanics of a feel-good film can somehow compensate for contrived plot mechanics. The setup of the story clearly announces what’s in store, as a fleeing relationship between a classical musician and an Irish rocker result in a kid whose existence is wiped clean by a overbearing grandfather. A decade later, all members of this separate family start looking for each other even as the child has become a musical prodigy whose music will be performed in Central Park, but only if he can avoid the clutches of a mysterious ragamuffin impresario. (Hey, I told you it was contrived.) The complications are as artificial as the way the story is resolved, with happenstance and chance glances. I admit that being overly critical of this film is like kicking an adorable puppy, but the alternative is encouraging films that are just as indifferently put together. Despite the film’s interest in music as a transcending, perhaps supernatural force, there’s little of that magic at play in the film. It ends abruptly, almost as if it realizes how ashamed it should be of itself. The DVD contains several deleted scenes that merely prolong the agony.

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