Push (2009)

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 2.2/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 1/10

PUSH (2009) - Paul McGuigan

From the director of Lucky Number Slevin… comes a convoluted disarray of noisy cacophonies.

There are 9 types of super-humans in this movie:
1. Watchers, who have the ability to foresee the future
2. Movers, who have the telekinetic power to move objects
3. Pushers, who have the ability to implant thoughts
4. Bleeders, who have the ability to emit high-pitched sounds
5. Sniffs, who have the ability to track people
6. Shifters, who can temporarily alter the appearance of an object
7. Wipers, who can temporarily or permanently erase memories
8. Shadows, who can block the vision of Sniffs
9. Stitches, who can heal or unheal anything

Push centers on a group of people born with these various superpowers who band together to bring down a government agency called Division that uses a dangerous drug to enhance their powers to create an army of "super soldiers." The film follows Nick Grant (Chris Evans), a Mover, Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning), a Watcher, and Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle), a Pusher, fighting against the agency led by Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), a Pusher that killed Nick's father.

Confused yet?

To be straightforward, Push suffers from the most tangled plot ever made in years. The premise of the film opens with much promise, immersing us into the crowded streets of Hong Kong. Join that with admirable cinematography and the movie looks alluring. Push was entirely shot on location, providing an organic atmosphere to its content. It is curious to integrate men with super powers with asian fish markets and bamboo scaffoldings. The colors are vibrant and the appearance is stylish. However, as we all know, appearances can be deceiving. I was first intrigued, and then I was bewildered, and then I was clueless.

I always stress on the fact that no matter how good-looking a film is, it all boils back down to the story and the script. Words cannot describe how dimwitted the dialogue is. In addition, the action sequences bear little sense and commitment. The majority of the scenes of intensity contains people pointing guns at each others' heads without ever pulling the trigger. The narrative, surprisingly for this kind of movie, drags. How does it drag? Because we as audience members are constantly questioning what the characters are actually doing. Push attempts to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's classics by pushing forward a MacGuffin, a plot device in which the protagonist is willing to do anything to pursue, but with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered to be so desirable. The drawback here is that Push reveals exactly what they are after, the drug. Mentioned before, the program Division undertakes all obstacles to retrieve the stolen drug. Furthermore, the drug was somehow said to bring down Division, causing the main characters to search for it too. In simplicity, the storyline of Push tries to be an episode of Heroes. However, what Push attempted instead was to squeeze the entire season of the show into a running time of two hours.

Chris Evans, known as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four, plays one of the most formulaic male leads in an action film. Despite his skills being a Mover, his human character is as vague as the film's logic. The chemistry between Evans and Fanning work at times and they incredulously drive the plot onward better than the contrived romantic chemistry between Evans and Belle. Speaking of Belle, her facial expressions are crippled to a limited amount of looks. If she played Kristen Stewart's sister, I would undoubtedly stand up and say, "I'm not surprised." Dakota Fanning, despite the film's ridicule, gives the best she's got. Though her performance in War of the Worlds is far superior, Fanning successfully communicates her thoughts to the audience. The cast in general treads on water. Every actor looks right and fits in the settings perfectly, but the execution of their personalities vanishes once they start talking.

In conclusion, Push is one of the worst films I have ever seen. Nothing is explained before it is presented. The screenplay is a jumbled mess of familiar content, cliche and formulaic, and even delivered more terribly than others. The film as a whole is beautiful to look at, but I must be "pushed" to understand the entire narrative. From the Los Angeles Times, one would wish to "run into a wiper by the time the credits roll."Push takes no breaks, trotting along without a rhythm. What is left is simply a film that goes at a breakneck pace and does not care about any other variables that apply. To quote Mark Keizer, Push "basically acts like it has to go pee. It just wants to just get it over with."

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