“Disconnect” is a film made very much in the post-”Crash” vein of worried social narratives: multiple characters orbiting around a core of panic. Here the issue is the Internet and all the electronic devices that promise to bring us together yet push us further apart. It’s a pressing topic, obviously. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t wrestle daily with the ethics and conundrums of our new wired society — what we gain in connectedness and give up in human connection. The movie has a ripped-from-the-headlines urgency that would make it a good place-setter before a PTA meeting or panel discussion, and lot of people may mistake the importance of the subject with excellence in filmmaking. And “Disconnect” is far from a bad movie. It’s just better at melodrama than drama.
Still, it pokes at our modern discontents with a fervor that provokes. Two callow high-school bullies, Jason (Colin Ford) and Frye (Aviad Bernstein) invent a fake Facebook girl to dupe a gentle misfit classmate named Ben (Jonah Bobo); one of those photos that Mom told you never to send out on a cellphone ends up making the rounds of high school, and tragedy ensues. Jason’s father, Mike (Frank Grillo), is a private detective specializing in Internet fraud; he comes to the aid of a troubled couple, Cindy (Paula Patton) and Derek (Alexander Skarsgård), whose bank accounts have been emptied by persons unknown.