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Movie Review - 'Push'


Starring Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans, Camilla Belle, and Djimon Hounsou
Directed by Paul McGuigan
Rated PG-13

push_galleryposter.jpg It just happens like this sometimes. There's nothing overwhelmingly wrong with Push, a new science fiction action flick about a band of otherwise ordinary people that possess psychic powers hiding from a government that wants to harness their abilities to make super soldiers, but something's not right.

The performances are mostly fine, the action is interesting looking, the little world director Paul McGuigan creates in an underground Hong Kong is colorful, and even the plot doesn't get too weighed down.

It just doesn't work. Push is dull. By that, I'm not implying that I expected more excitement out of it specifically, even though I did. But it's just boring in general - the way attending a Catholic wedding is boring if you're not Catholic - and I don't know why that is or how it could've been fixed.

It began in World War II, with the Nazis trying to build uber-aryans by accentuating their unusual powers, be it fortune telling, telekinesis, or perhaps even spoon bending. Following the war, other governments tried the same approach in order to build unstoppable soldiers, and apparently the U.S. government can't quite get it right. So once their tests fail, Division, the secret branch of military intelligence in charge of the project, tries to track down more gifted guinea pigs.

The old ones, the ones that don't cut it? They're killed.

Nick Grant (Chris Evans) saw that happen to his father when he was just a boy, and ten years later, he's still on the run, holed in Hong Kong, which we learn is a breeding ground for misplaced psychic warriors. You would think that would actually be the last place you'd hide, since its scene is so well known, but no matter. Nick is nonetheless surprised when a young psychic named Cassie (Dakota Fanning) shows up at his door demanding his help. That he assist Cassie was foretold by his father, so Nick is obligated, despite the fact that neither he nor the girl is particularly proficient with their powers.

Cassie needs help tracking down a girl, another one of their kind, named Kira (Camilla Belle). For the purposes of the story, the powers have handles, so Cassie the psychic is a watcher, Nick the telekinetic is a mover, and Kira is a pusher, meaning she can force thoughts into your head.

Leading the charge for Division is Carver (Djimon Hounsou). He's looking for Kira, as well, since she escaped the government's shadowy laboratory where all the experiments are conducted. He's a pusher, too, and a ruthless one at that.

Push knows where it wants to go and even knows how to get us there, but where it fails is making us care about the characters or these special powers. There are a couple of intense scenes where they come into play, but they just never really come to life. McGuigan does well here as he did in Lucky Number Slevin with the look and the color of the film, and if this were a more traditional mystery (like Slevin), then those colors might have stories to tell us. Here, they're just nice to look at.

Fanning continues to mature, and Evans shows that he could probably carry a slightly better action flick than this, something he was never allowed to showcase in the Fantastic Four movies. However, this is not a slightly better action flick. It's slightly worse. Worse than I thought, worse than it should be, and worse in ways I have trouble enunciating.

Watch the Push trailer


Reader Comments (3)

What a shame. I was really looking forward to this movie. I will probably just see it as a matinee now. Thanks for the heads up.

Friday, February 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShell

this movie was very long.. but one of the best recent movies ive seen yet ! it is deff worth going too see !

Monday, March 2, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterautumn

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterbaiVituathy

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