Push

Well, Hell’s bells! The Popcorn Bucket is a year old today! My first review seems so damn long ago, but it really wasn’t. I’m not one to pat myself on the back but I’m astounded that I’ve kept something like this up for a whole year. Normally I lose interest when I find something good on T.V. but goddamn it, I stuck in there. Holy fucking Christ, I’m awesome. And blasphemous.

Push (2009)

When Push was released early this year in the UK, it hardly made a ripple or squeak and barely grossed a million at the box office before slinking off to die. So I can safely assume that many of you haven’t seen it (I am choosing to ignore DVD purchases/rentals and internet piracy ‘cos it suits my point) It’s a shame because it’s a solid film with some truly great ideas.

“There are special people in this world. We don’t ask to be special. We’re just born this way.”
Push revolves around a group of people with psychic abilities. There are many different types of psychic including some that can move things with their minds (Movers), some that can implant thoughts in your head (Pushers) and some that can predict the future (Watchers). After young Watcher Cassie (Dakota Fanning) finds under-the-radar Mover Nick Gant (Chris Evans) in Hong Kong, Nick’s life suddenly becomes a lot more danger-filled as a government agency led by Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), who experiment on psychics start pursuing the unlikely allies. So far, so X-Men/ Jumper, right? Well, yes and no. The X-comparison is an understandable one (you try and name a film revolving around a group of people with special powers that doesn’t have an “X” in the title…) , but not exactly a fair one. Push makes it clear it is its own film and shows more ingenuinity with some set-pieces and powers than any of the X-Men films did, and that’s really saying something. The story itself was sound enough, I just wish it could have taken itself a little less seriously.

Chris Evans was great, although he did seem to be playing The Human Torch again without the fire (just “The Human” then…) . Dakota Fanning surprised me with her performance as Cassie. Having not seen her since War of the Worlds, it seems that Ms. Fanning has grown up considerably and lost that annoying precocious quality she had in her previous films. She’s always been able to act, but this was the first time I actually believed she was the character. Yes, she’s still a smart-mouthed miniature bastard, but all 12/13 year olds are- why should she be any different?

Push is a pretty ballsy production. If you were handed a low sum of money to make a film, I’m guessing you’d cross off “special effects” and “exotic locales” from your list before you had the chance to say “Who are you and why are you giving me money?”. Push revolves around superpowers and is set in Hong Kong- yeah. Despite its meagre budget (well, comparatively meagre- thing still cost $38 million to make) it looks great and has some really interesting shots of a little-seen side of Hong Kong.

There is a constant flow of great moments/little touches through the film until the end when they pretty much throw the baby out with the bath water, but I’ll get to that in a minute. There is a fantastic gunfight between two Movers to look forward to. Doesn’t sound that exciting? Yeah- the guns are FLOATING IN MID-AIR. Well, I thought it was cool. However, virtually every scene is stolen by Cliff Curtis’ Shifter (One who can change objects into other objects) who is the only one who seems to be having fun with his power. Everyone else seems to treat their awesome powers as some sort of disease that only brings nastiness. RANT ALERT! why are nearly all superhero films/ films dealing with superbeings fucking depressing these days? Yes, The Dark Knight was awesome, but fuck- somebody actually have some fun with these powers, for God’s sake. I’m pretty sure that if I woke up and had the ability to fly or punch through walls I wouldn’t sit around feeling sorry for myself. I’d be out there seeing how high I could soar, or seeing what/who else I could punch through. Lighten up, please!

“You better do something quick, ’cause I’m getting sick of drawing dead bodies!”

So the ending. It wasn’t bad really, just quite unsatisfying. After endless one-upmanship, the characters just fizzle out a bit rather than go out with a bang. The film would like to think it has left you questioning, but it couldn’t make me care enough to do all that. Still, Push is a decent, solid flick that just screams out for a sequel. Somebody please make an X2 to this X-Men!

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