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Push In Review

Updated on May 11, 2011

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A Good Nap

Though action movies really aren’t my favorite genre, it wasn’t my night to pick the movie. Seeing the previews for the new Dakota Fanning movie Push you would think you were going to see an action packed movie, right? As with a lot of recent movies, the previews showed all of the good parts.

Set mostly in modern day Hong Kong, Push is essentially a combination of the X-Men franchise and the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie, Wanted. During the Holocaust, the Nazis rounded people with psychic abilities up hoping to chemically enhance their powers so that they could be used as weapons. After the war, these psychics were rounded up again, this time by the world’s governments and separated into “Divisions.” These “Divisions” experimented on the psychics and cataloged them into specific groups: movers (the ability to move things without touching them i.e. telekinesis), pushers (the ability to place lies/untrue thoughts into the minds of people to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do i.e. mind control),watchers (the ability to see the future by reading someone’s intentions there by deducing what the person will do before they actually do it), bleeders (the ability to make a high pitched sound essentially bursting someone’s eardrums and anything else in sight), sniffers (the ability to see the what the user has done with the object and what the user may do in the future by just smelling or touching it), shifters (the ability to make an object look like another object, but not actually become the object, for a short period of time), wipers (the ability to erase certain points of someone’s memory), shadows (the ability to hide an object, place or person from someone by using other powers/placing a shadow over it) and stitchers (the ability to either heal or harm someone by using only your psychic powers). While the other “Divisions” have been shut down, the American one is thriving. The main plot of the film is an attempt by a group of psychics/powerful people to bring down the “American Division” that has begun to use a dangerous drug meant to strengthen their powers with deadly consequences.

The cast is led by fifteen year old, Dakota Fanning. In the role of a watcher, Cassie Holmes, she is up to her old tricks, out acting her co-stars, turning a bad movie into something more bearable. I can only imagine what she’ll do when she finally has a good script. As mover, Nick Gant, Chris Evans is way too arrogant. If you saw him in the Fantastic Four movies and didn’t like his performance in them, you should skip this movie. He obviously only knows one way to act. As the damsel or pusher in distress, Kira Hudson, Camilla Belle works with what she has. I haven’t seen her act since she was much younger, playing the child version of Sandra Bullock’s character in Practical Magic Her performance was blah but, I don’t think it would be right to write her off just yet. As I said, she worked with what she had, even the best actresses bomb when they have terrible material and little direction (Paul McGuigan). As Agent Henry Carver, Dijimon Hounsou was his usual self. With his booming voice and determined eyes, he could play Little Red Riding Hood and still be taken seriously.

I rarely nod off watching a movie. Yet, fully rested, I drifted off more than once. It’s a loud movie, but after you’ve seen the same stunt done again and again you stop watching and can easily tune out of the noise. I understand where the writer (David Bourla) was coming from. There are many unexplained events that the government is involved in that leave us scratching our heads, wondering what is really going on. However, the movie feels old, the topic having been touched on in the third X-men movie. Also, while the rest of the psychic categories make sense and even some of them people make their living doing today, the bleeders are ridiculous. Everyone can scream. There’s nothing enviable or interesting about this talent.

The way that Push ended, I sense that a sequel is/was planned. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen. It has gotten generally negative reviews. Had I known this, I would’ve asked that we skip it. Several audience members at the showing I went to left early. The others stayed for the movie, but vocalized their disapproval on the way to the lobby. Don’t waste your money on a movie ticket for something that will play just as well as a rental. With that in mind, rent at your own risk.


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