February 6, 2009
Review - " Push " (in Theaters) - By Roland Hansen
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Push (Summit Entertainment)
Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Starring: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou
Push reminded me a lot of Hero's or X-Men. It consisted of a bunch of young
people with developing powers going against a government agency that tries
to control them. It wasn't bad, just wasn't incredibly original.
"Push" is an original story, written by David Bourla, about people with
superhuman abilities and the shadowy, government agency that is trying to
stop or control them. There are many differing abilities to be found in "Push",
all of which center around telekinetic and psychic abilities. There are Movers,
who can move objects with their minds; Pushers, who can “push” thoughts
and memories into other people’s minds; Watchers, who can see specific
events in their future; and several others including such street designations
as Sniffers, Bleeders, Shifters and Stitches. I could explain all of these, but it’s
a little more fun to discover what it all means as you watch the movie.
This film centers on one specific Mover, Nick Gant, played by Chris Evans. He
is doing his best to stay off the radar of The Division, the agency who is
attempting to control those with abilities. Nick is brought out of hiding by
Cassie (Dakota Fanning), a Watcher who believes a lone Pusher, Kira
(Camilla Belle), holds the secret to bringing down The Division once and for
all. Kira is the only person to ever escape from The Division (with a little help from one very powerful watcher). It doesn't
take Nick and Cassie long to find Kira, and the film quickly becomes a cat-and-mouse thriller with the trio being hunted by
agents of The Division, as well as several other ability-stricken people who want Kira for their own devices.
The performances were nothing special. Chris Evans does an exceptable job, he portrays Nick a bit darker and less hip
than his usual fare. 13 year old Dakota Fanning is definitely growing up and was fun to watch sucking down a pint of
whiskey and tearing off a few expletive laden rants. However this really wasn't one of her best performances (although it
was cool too see her as a badass with a gun). Camilla Belle is very easy on the eye but I am beginning to wonder if she can
really act. Her performance was flat and wooden. Her blank expressionless look worked to perfection in "The Quiet" where
she played a deaf mute but is completely out of place in an scifi action thriller. She's 22 but still looks 16. She comes across
more as a teenager than a woman and isn't convincing as the love interest opposite Chris Evans.
On a technological level, ‘Push’ is not about to amaze anyone with it’s special effects but it does do a wonderful job of
using the resources it has to convey the crucial “sci-fi/fantasy” elements of the story successfully without over-emphasizing
the use of CGI. One scene that particularly impressed me in this sense was a fight between Nick and another Mover near
the end whereas the two characters proceed to pound the Hell out of each other, mano-a-mano, with telekinetically
enhanced maneuvers of close combat fighting. By far, the way in which the Movers are portrayed in ‘Push’ definitely pass
the “Holy Cow! That’s cool and I wanna be able to do that!” test.
The action was really well done. The special effects were cool
and some of the powers were really neat. The acting wasn't
particularly good, but wasn't poor enough to degrade the
movie. “Push” looks pretty good for a film with a small budget,
and it is indeed quite enjoyable to watch. As an action film the
movie succeeds beautifully. If you liked "Wanted" or "Hitman"
then this movie is for you.