Push

  • 2009-04-15
  • By Talis Saule Archdeacon

DISCONNECT: Though it has all the ingredients for a good film, something in the plot is lacking.

Director: Paul McGuigan

An unshaven telekinetic man in his 20s and a pubescent girl who can see the future walk into a Chinese noodle bar and order a snack. Their lunch is interrupted by a group of gangsters who scream loud enough to shatter both fish tanks and eardrums.
Sound like the beginning of a bad joke? Unfortunately, it is.

The idea behind "Push" isn't a necessarily bad one. It has all the ingredients for a decent sci-fi film 's with numerous people harboring varied secret powers trying to blend into the general population 's but the ingredients are crudely tossed together such that the whole thing falls apart.
The real trouble with the film comes from its lack of consistency.

Take the main character's abilities as an example. Nick Gant (Chris Evans) is a "pusher" 's he has the telekinetic ability to move object at a distance with his mind. At the start of the film, he is fairly impotent in the use of his powers and cannot even succeed in moving a die the millimeter needed to make it fall on his number.
He meets a young "watcher" 's who has the ability to sketch cryptic scenes from the future 's who tells him that his powers will only grow with practice. So far, so good.

Yet without devoting any time to practicing with his not-so-newfound powers, he is able to stop bullets by the middle of the film. By the end, and still with little to no training time, he is able to bring a half finished building crashing down on his enemy's head. All it would have taken to explain his growing strength is a good montage.

This sort of inconsistency runs throughout the entire film. Admittedly a sci-fi/action film need not worry about maintaining any kind of thread with reality, but the director should at least play by his own rules.
Another point McGuigan missed out on is how the people use their powers. Despite the fact that many of the characters have a full command of their abilities, very few use their powers in a natural way. Only one of the actors, a "shifter" named Hook (Cliff Curtis) who change the appearance of items, seems to use his powers as a natural extension of his character.

For the rest, their superpowers seem to be a crude plot device forced on them to bludgeon the story forward.
Though it could have been a nice adventure for viewers, "Push" ends up just another in a long line of paltry productions that have come out this year.


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