Do Not August Rush to See This
Well, I lost my right to drag my wife to movies after the horrific display that was Hot Rod. So, in return, I have to attend two movies that I do not want to. Now, with the financial situation the way it is, this arrangement seems to make any sense. Anyway, this was not my pick. I went kicking and screaming. I read the premise, didn’t want to see it. I read some reviews, still didn’t want to see it. So, when I didn’t like the movie, I was not surprised.
The movie opens with Evan Taylor, played by Freddie Highmore, talking about how he can hear music in everything. About how he thinks that if he can play the music, then his parents will find him. We then discover that he is in a very stereotypical foster care center. It was complete with making him seem like a freak and outcast with a side of mean bully older boys to go with it.
Then the movie takes a Tarantino approach and starts telling the story from the beginning, eleven years ago. But some quick math and you discover that Evan Taylor is 11 and that the beginning would have to be 12 years ago, or it just does not add up. That is fine; math may not have been the strong suit for the writer of this film. Maybe while he is on strike, he can take a math class. In the past we see Lyla Segwick and Louis Connelly playing in their respective venues. Lyla is a cellist in an orchestra; Louis is a guitarist/lead singer of a rock band. After their performances, they meet accidentally. They have a one night fling and fall in love to a street performer playing the harmonica and guitar. Well, clearly at this point, we know that she gets pregnant and is the mother of poor little Evan. Her father forbids her to stay in New York with Louis. We later find out that she gets hit by a car and while in the hospital, the baby is born while she is out of it and her father gives it up for adoption. This comes back later.
Back to the here and now, Richard Jeffries, played by Terrence Howard, is a social worker in charge of making sure the children in the foster care center are fine and that they find a home if they want one. Of course, Evan tells him that he is waiting on his parents to come for him. That night, he decides to leave the center and go to the city. Here he meets characters right out of Oliver! They are lead by a guy who goes by the nickname “Wizard,” played by none other than Robin Williams in his best Bono attire. He gives each of them a section of the city to perform on and then takes a portion of their tips. Evan stays up at night and discovers a guitar and how to play it. He becomes and instant success. So, Wizard re-names him, you guessed it, “August Rush.”
Now, from this point, Lyla and Louis, who gave up music after that fateful night of lovemaking, decide to get back on track with their music. Lyla learns that her son is alive at her father’s deathbed. Louis tries to track down Lyla to confess his decade old love that won’t die. August/Evan winds up at Julliard and becomes a prodigy. This whole movie culminates at the Julliard Concert in the Park. Once all the characters figure everything out, it ends.
My wife was crying, the old ladies to my left were bawling, and every other female that I could see had tears in their eyes. I, myself, thought about crying, then decided that all the sappy serendipitous-ness of this movie made me sick, and I decided that a tear was not required. My verdict: The music was exceptional with its little ditties, but movie lacked. I would rent this if you want to see it. If you were a fence sitter, don’t bother.