It's technology vs. hugs in "Disconnect," a heavy-handed compendium of interlocking stories about the perils of our wired society.
Jason Bateman plays Rich, a lawyer who's too attached to his work email to notice his moody son Ben (Jonah Bobo) has taken up an online romance not knowing that the "girl" is actually two pranking classmates. One of the classmates, Jason (Colin Ford), is the son of Mike (Frank Grillo), a tech-savvy private detective who investigates when identity thieves wipe out the bank accounts of a struggling couple, Derek (Alexander Skarsgard) and Cindy (Paula Patton). One of Rich's clients is a TV station where reporter Nina (Andrea Riseborough) has befriended Kyle (Max Thieriot), a hustler working for a sex-for-money website.
Director Henry Alex Rubin, a documentarian making his feature debut, makes an earnest attempt to illustrate the ways technology has alienated us from human interaction. But writer Andrew Stern's hamfisted homilies, and the creaky devices linking the characters to each other, swallow up the good intentions with weak dialogue and plotting.
Opens Friday, April 26, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas and Century 16 (South Salt Lake); rated R for sexual content, some graphic nudity, language, violence and drug use - some involving teens; 115 minutes.