Directed by Paul McGuigan.
Written by David Bourla.
Starring Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle and Djimon
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 2/11/09
"Push" is a great set-up, a great tease in fact, on what it could be
with some more action and a little less Dakota Fanning. In the
hands of good sequel-makers, "Push 2" could be a cult classic.
But, as it is, "Push" has a sci-fi/action thing going for it thanks
to a little taste of "Heroes", "The X-Files", "The Matrix", "Alias",
and a kind of cool, assumed backstory of freaks with powers that
hang out in Hong Kong. In the present day, a shady government
organization called Division (it would have been ridiculous to use
also-rans like The Agency, The Covenant, The Others or something
else shady-government-y) is slowly eliminating people who have
powers, be it "watchers" (those that can see the future), "shadows"
(those that protect individuals from watchers by standing within 20
feet of them), "movers" (those that can use telekinesis on anything
movable), "bleeders" (crazy-eyed Asian guys that can shout so loud
that they make anyone in their radius bleed from their ears), and
"pushers", people who can use their mind to cloud your mind with
memories you never had previously. Everyone appears to have
just one power, so they move in packs with others who have
All of that is required knowledge to understand why Nick (Chris
Evans), a mover who has yet to hone his true skill, needs a watcher
named Cassie (Dakota Fanning), to evade the head of Division, a
pusher named Carver (Djimon Hounsou) and a band of bleeders,
"shifters", "sniffers" and many others. Nick and Cassie are on
a mission to find Nick's former girlfriend, a pusher named Kira
(Camilla Belle) and a case containing the key to the good side's
I won't lie--the set-up is cool. Director Paul McGuigan takes
his time to show us everyone's skill, but in not developing most of
the characters, it's hard to read their motivation as to why they
follow Carver's direction to take down the good guys. Even
when we are told why Kira is so important, it falls flat. The
lively one-note/one-skill characters look really cool, though, so
that works; the movie's camerawork is on speed, but it narrowly
blackout moments by mostly keeping the action centered as chaos
ensues during key sequences. The action pacing is strong but
the total number of scenes is a bit low; as special powers go, the
action also has a bit of a problem because both Carver's bodyguard
and Nick have the ability to stop bullets with their telekinesis
powers...but, they both like to shoot at each other. Uhh,
boring. Kind of like watching the pros shoot at each other in
"Wanted", it didn't
make sense to me that people who cannot kill their rivals with guns
are constantly using guns to try and kill said individuals.
If you can get past things like this, "Push" is not bad. Like
I said earlier, I think this world could be interesting in the hands
of someone else, featuring even more one-note powers. As it
is, serviceable, and if we could just get Fanning something to eat,
I would feel a LOT better.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard