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Push A Barrage of Underdeveloped Ideas

Directed by Paul McGuigan
Written by David Bourla
Summit, 2009

Push, like Wanted and Jumper last year, is a descendant of The Matrix.  Unfortunately, this average-people-with-powers thing is getting a bit stale and with the feel of being rushed.  These new movies, along with the NBC serial Heroes, have begun to blend in with each other.  I’d like to see one of these movies just once not have a secret government agency chasing after the good guys.  It is a necessity for movies to have conflict in order to have a story, but this government trackdown angle is a lazy avenue.

Set in Hong Kong, we find out in Push that there are all sorts of people with special powers living among us, some have the ability to move things with a Star Wars The Force-like pass of their hand, represented here by our main character Nick Gant (Chris Evans), who is having trouble harnessing it.  Some have the ability to see the future, as Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning) does.  Then you have the people who can control minds and make lies seem like the truth, as Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle) can do.  The government is after Kira because she is the only special powers person to survive it, and they’ve sent their also-mind-controlling agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) to track her down.  Cassie teams up with Nick to find Kira, who turns out to be an ex-flame of Nick’s.

Their purpose is to keep her safe and to find a drug hidden away by Cassie’s mom long ago that the government wants, as does a Chinese mafia outfit.  In the meantime, you’ll be seeing lots of action scenes involving guys who can scream beyond normal decibel levels and screw up human bodies in the process, probably my favorite part of the movie in its execution of terror, lots of confusion involving memory-erasing and mind-altering, and a lot of really cool ideas that could have formed better into a more coherent film.  The movie isn’t terrible, it’s just a waste of creativity.  We can debate on whether that officially makes the movie terrible or just a disappointment, or both, but I didn’t find myself bored in any way.  I’m just hoping filmmakers will harness what they have creatively, snip out the same-old concepts, and develop ideas better.

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