Friday, 1 February 2013

Push (2009)

A decent cast and decent premise are both wasted in this unexciting, muddled, and inevitably inconsequential, superhero movie from writer David Bourla and director Paul McGuigan.

Chris Evans plays Nick Gant, a young man who has the power of telekinesis, even if he is still learning how to use it. His life is thrown into chaos when he's approached by Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning), a young woman who can see into the future. Cassie needs his help catch another person with super-powers (Kira Hudson, played by Camilla Belle) and to set a chain of events in motion that will eventually lead to her rescuing her mother from the government officials keeping her captive. There's a high probability that Chris and Cassie could die, as Cassie keeps pointing out, but she tries to remain hopeful that they can succeed in their quest while avoiding the attention of other talented individuals. Xiaolu Li plays another young woman who can see into the future, although she's better at it than Cassie, and Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) is an agent determined to retrieve Kira for the benefit of the organisation that he works for.

Sounds like fun? Telekinesis and seeing the future? I've not even mentioned the talent that Kira has for being able to push thoughts, suggestions and false memories into the mind of anyone not mentally prepared to defend against such a sneak attack. Or the guys who can shout/scream so loudly that they can kill people and break glass. Even more fun, right? Wrong.

Push just never delivers, it never rises up to what it could be - an enjoyable adventure featuring folk who never made the cut for X-Men (and don't take that as a highly disparaging remark, I'm a huge fan of Chris Evans and he's the main reason I was able to find this film reasonably enjoyable).

This is mostly due to the poor script and lacklustre direction, but it doesn't help that the majority of the cast, aside from Evans, Fanning and Hounsou, are so forgettable. Camilla Belle is especially disappointing in her role, failing to liven up a character not written all that well in the first place and the least said about those two shouting/screaming guys, the better.

When Bourla plotted out the movie he obviously thought he was being clever and unconventional when he was, in fact, simply being annoying and dull. The plot, twists and turns and all, makes little sense and ends up having no real purpose. It's almost as if the whole thing exists just to set up a sequel that never happened.

The filmmakers may have thought it commendable that they made a movie focused on characters over action, but they forgot to make the characters interesting enough for that approach to work. It's a shame because the potential was there for something much better. This is simply average, at best.


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