Daily News header

August Rush Movie Review

By Prairie Miller


Yarns about the Big Apple are usually best told by those who can lay claim to being immersed in the life of the city and its surrounding burbs, and who are in tune with its colorful vibes, unique native nuances, and sheer craziness. So when you put together a movie like August Rush that's spawned in Hollywood, lifts its tale straight out of the British children's classic, Oliver Twist and is helmed by an Irish director (Kirsten Sheridan), the too many cooks, too little local flavor end result is awkwardly generic, to say the least.

August Rush (Freddie Highmore, initially named Evan by the social workers) is the orphaned waif in question , the offspring of a passionate one night stand who's been dumped at an upstate home for unclaimed kids by his indignant upper crust patrician grandfather (William Sadler). The tragic unwed mom is debutante celebrity cellist Lyla (Keri Russell), who crosses paths by chance with up and coming Irish rock guitarist Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) while she's star gazing up on her penthouse rooftop.

Shortly after, an uncommonly naive Lyla finds herself with child. And within just a few movie minutes, she's hit by a car, gives birth, is informed by dear old dad that the baby is dead, and is begrudgingly sent back to cello duty at the NY Philharmonic. In the meantime, Evan/August is terrorized by bullies daily, up at his home for boys, but nevertheless refuses to allow himself to be adopted. (We have to logically assume that this obstinate refusal stems from an exceedingly precocious infancy, the age when most healthy white children do get adopted). August is instead holding on to the dream of being united one day with his mystery parents, whom he's certain are musical geniuses since he's so deeply connected to the music in nature all around him. But August has no way of knowing about his own talent for sure, since there's not a musical instrument in sight at this peculiar orphanage, not even a whistle, just brooms to keep things tidy.

When he gets wind that a well meaning social worker (Terrence Howard) is arranging his adoption, like it or not, August runs away to Manhattan to look for his parents. There, he's taken under wing by crafty Fagin-esque entrepreneur bum Wizard (Robin Williams), who presides over an army of musically inclined urchins in an abandoned theater, that he sets up on the streets daily to perform for spare change. Wizard bestows upon the kid the stage name August Rush, and sends him out to sing for his supper in Washington Square. By chance and once again in fast forward succession, August is taken in by the kindly pastor of a black church, instantly matriculated into Julliard's prodigy college program, and tapped to conduct the Philharmonic in a gala Central Park concert. Where you-know-who also just happens to be performing, and you-guessed-it by chance hears the music while driving by, and dashes on over.

While children may enjoy the extreme flights of fancy and kid fulfillment creative dreams of August Rush, the grownups may find the barrage of coincidences just a tad too sugary for their taste. In any case, telegraphing the message to impressionable young minds that all you need to succeed in life is about fifty easy-to-come-by strokes of good luck, might not be a such a great idea.

Warner Bros
Rated PG
2 stars

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Kam Williams presents his top 10 DVD List for April 15, 2014, including Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil, Jan Svankmajer's Alice and Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the Documentary Film 'The Address'. Williams gives the documentary 4 stars and says it is a current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams gives the film, Small Time 3 stars. He said it is very good and realistic, a slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who's understandably torn between moving on with his life.
Kam Williams reviews The Railway Man, an introspective story of Eric Lomax, one of 60,000+ POWs forced to build the Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway, because so many died.
Movie review Kam Williams interviews Bridget Moynahan about the movie Small Time. Here she talks about the coming-of-age drama co-starring Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick and Dean Norris.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site