Push (2009)
Push (2009)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 2 hrs. 1 min.

Release Date: February 6th, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Paul McGuigan Actors: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou, Nate Mooney

 


 

“P

ush” showcases a remarkable amount of creativity and potential, yet oddly shifts between a state of incompletion and overdevelopment. The film ends too soon but takes too long in getting to its truncated conclusion, and a surplus in character quantity allows few to be explored adequately. Movers, Pushers, Shifters, Sniffers, Bleeders, Watchers, and more inhabit this unique realm of psychically enhanced beings, and while each has a specific super power, most feel like they were invented just to counter the abilities of another type of mental warrior.

The Division, a group of government agents charged with experimenting on subjects gifted with psychic powers, has devised a serum that will drastically enhance the user’s performance. The only drawback is that none have survived the dosage – until now. Kira (Camilla Belle) is a “pusher” (able to force a fabricated reality into another’s mind) who has withstood the normally fatal injection. Upon escaping her captors, she manages to stay one step ahead of them by utilizing her tremendous psychic gift.  Cassie (Dakota Fanning) is a “watcher” (able to see into an ever-changing future) who seeks out the downtrodden Nick (Chris Evans), a “mover” who has squandered his talent for levitating objects with his mind. Together, the duo must rescue Kira from the Division’s main puppet, Carver (Djimon Hounsou), and locate a mysterious case that contains the last hope of bringing down the tyrannical agency.

The overlong third act in “Push” is largely dependent on circumstances that have no factual support. Nick realizes that every move they make is being predicted by other watchers; the only way to avoid intentions that can be tracked is to be completely spontaneous. This involves plotting out a scheme and then having his memory wiped just far back enough that he won’t remember coming up with the plan. Since when was Nick so brilliant that he could devise such a solution – let alone one that a group of talented psychic warriors would blindly follow? It’s as if he’s Neo in “The Matrix,” and the supporting characters are to assume he’s “The One.”

Whether audiences choose to ignore the plausibility of the denouement, there’s also the matter of an overabundance of super-powered mutants, each one with unique abilities. It’s not that it’s difficult to keep track of who is capable of what, but rather few of the talents are given much definition or screen time. In fact, the most exciting cabalistic showdown doesn’t even initially involve Nick, instead incorporating cool Division henchman Victor, who gets to combat machinegun bullets with his bare hands. In the end, “Push” demonstrated plenty of potential and the setup for sequels, but the “wow” factor is tragically neutral. Action, special effects, and flashy editing can’t make viewers care for characters and events that seem trivial, despite crafting a world that is both fascinating and not too outlandish that it can’t be explained during the opening title sequence voiceover.

By its very intricate nature, the events and circumstances work to make its audience think about what they’ve just seen. This, unfortunately, brings undue attention to the numerous plot holes and nonsensical predicament resolutions the heroes face or employ.  Ultimately, it’s more fun than not, but the film finds itself feeling more like the first episode of a series rather than a standalone adventure, detrimentally burdened by the responsibility of introduction to an elaborate new world.

– The Massie Twins

  • 6/10