The movie "Push" opened over the past weekend and it didn't do too well at the box office. As soon as I first heard about this film at last year's San Diego Comic Con I was curious to see how it would be executed. Based on the trailers and cast, the film came across as an amalgam of Eraser, Minority Report and last year's Sci Fi flick Jumper. Another problem was that Chris Evans, Camilla Belle and Dakota Fanning all starring as the protagonists/good guys didn't exactly inspire throngs of fans to go to the theaters.
The story follows a second generation telekenetic (called "movers" in the film) that had his pops merked by the big angry Black man from the covert government agency known only as Division ten years ago. He immediately goes on to run to avoid Division psychics (called "watchers" in the film) and stay out of their reach. Eventually, he settles down in Hong Kong (Of course! A White hero in Hong Kong! *rolls eyes*) where he struggles with his powers and is eventually paid a visit by Division agents.
The Division agents are looking for a girl with a case. They tend to stay vague as they search for proof of whether or not he's lying about knowing nothing. Once the agents determine that homie doesn't know shit they're satisfied enough to leave him alone. While gone he tries to see if he can concentrate and try to attain somthing resembling the level of mastery his deceased father showed with his "moving" skills. No dice.
He's interrupted by a phone call and a knock at his door. It turns out to be some 13 year old girl with a huge forehead and a terrible hairstyle who claims that she can see the future (called "watching" in the film) named Cassie. She barges into his apartment and tells him she's there to help him locate the girl and the case that Division is looking for (His name is Nick..I haven't used it yet because I actually forgot what it was and had to look it up on IMDb..that's how memorable this character was for me). The pair go out to eat and encounter enemies that destroy shit by screaming really loudly.
During the fallout from their first encounter with their Chinese enemies it becomes apparent that neither Nick nor Cassie are any fuckin' good at utilizing their powers. Nick gets his ass kicked but saves Cassie and she has to get a healer (fuck what the movie calls it!) to heal his ass so the plot can finally move forward. Apparently, there's a drug that they inject into these gifted individuals at Division that can increase their powers. Every test subject has died after injection..until "the girl" survives the treatment and escapes from a Division compound.
Cassie also writes down these visions of them dying again and again. When we see other Watchers we realize exactly how horrible Cassie is at her Watcher job. It also becomes painfully obvious that Nick STILL really sucks at "moving" as he keeps getting his ass handed to him by whomever he faces in combat. due to lack of concentration. That's another issue I had with this film. If it's not going to be painfully original or have clever/engrossing dialogue then the fight sequences should be great to make up for the film's deficiencies. That didn't happen.
This film had trace elements of some of the greatest manga concepts ever devised, it's essentially an amalgam of the back stories of "Boah", "Akira" and "Mai, The Psychic Girl". As great as those manga were with storytelling, drama, action and pacing this film was just one big ass letdown. It dropped the ball repeatedly and shortchanged the audience again and again. If the story is going to focus around two people with powers that aren't very good at using them and they're facing professionals out to kill them at every turn then you damn well better sell me on these characters somehow! Didn't happen.
Things just happened without any real explanation or solid details. They finally encounter the girl but really...who gives a fuck? The film's been on for more than an hour and you're just curious as to when it'll finally get "good". Maybe Nick will get ill with his powers like Neo did in "The Matrix" and do some wild shit. Maybe the story will finally pick up and become..I dunno, interesting? There's a fair amount of hiding, bickering, encountering secondary Asian characters to help them out and Cassie repeatedly drawing pictures of everyone dead (she even gets drunk once..that scene sucked, too!). * Looks at iPod Touch* Is this bullshit flick almost over yet?
Let's just skip to the end, shall we (Yay!)? His girl...hold on let me look it up..Keira ends up in the clutches of Divsion and she uses her "pushing" powers (telepathy, mind reading and mind control) for the gang of the big evil Black guy and his British right hand man. The fight scenes and special effects are kinda underwhelming cosidering that the plot is muddled and the story is going nowhere. Nick has devised a plan to trick Division that ends up working but presents another set of problems once the movie ends.
This entire film works on the premise that they'll definitely be sequel. Uh...wait? You better not leave a cliffhanger after damn near two hours of bullshit with an average script, average acting, a less than original premise and slightly above average action scenes. It turns out that nothing is really resolved and they're back to the drawing board when it's all said and done. Nick, however, does seem to be slightly better at "moving". Big fuckin' deal!
This flick was a mess and it had the potential to be pretty good if it had a better script, beter lead actors (Djimon did the best he could given the circumstances) and someone with some vision that could've made this film really work. Chris Evans and Camilla Belle faxed in their performances and Dakota Fanning was just okay enough that I actually remembered her character's name after 1 1/2 viewings of the movie.
I thought "Push" was a huge ass disappointment but if you can manage to lower your expectations it's tolerable (but still forgettable..not ONE quotable line in it!). I'll dail it back and give it an overall maybe (barely) but if you're like me and DETEST disposable cinema AKA "popcorn flicks" you'll hate this shit as much as I did. There's a reason people still intently watch "Minority Report", "28 Days Later" and "I Am Legend" but fall asleep during "Jumper" when it comes on cable. Content is king, people!