Push Review

Push film still
  • Released

    February 20, 2009

Score

Heroes for the big screen, anyone? Sadly not. Like last year’s teleportation actioner, Jumper, Lucky Number Slevin director Paul McGuigan’s kinetic superhero thriller fancies itself as the first in a new action franchise that will never, ever happen.

Chris Evans is a ‘Mover’ (he can shove things around with his mind). Dakota Fanning is a ‘Watcher’ (she can draw really rubbish illustrations of the future). Camilla Belle is a ‘Pusher’ (she has Jedi mind control). Thrown together in Hong Kong, they fight for survival as government agents (led by Djimon Hounsou) and paranormal gangsters hunt them down for reasons that the screenwriters never really bothered to think too hard about.

Hong Kong is an arresting backdrop, but even that can’t beat the weirdly uncomfortable/compulsive spectacle of a teenage Fanning dressed in miniskirt and knee-highs, swearing and getting sloshed on beer. Totally watchable, totally forgettable.

View 4 comments

Anton Bitel

5 years ago
Man, next thing you'll be saying you don't like fights on bridges, in barrooms, in the main streets of dusty western townships, in foundries, in slow-motion rainfall, on the roofs of trains, in halls of mirrors, behind cinema screens, or even in Thunderdomes...

Matt Poke

5 years ago
I've not seen this and have no intention of after viewing the trailer. Fights on building sites are the lowest common denominator of set pieces.

Matt Poke

5 years ago
Haha! I ain't got anything against fights on those turfs. Gimme Master-Blaster any day! My point is, it's just too easy to destroy what's not even fully built yet.

Anton Bitel

5 years ago
Perhaps McGuigan's reasons for selecting that particular setting were entirely of the "that'll look cool!" (or "I liked it so much on Spiderman 3!") variety, but there is also something to be said for a half-built location in the climax of a film that is itself generically inchoate. What I have in mind is the fact that although Push is being marketed entirely as a bog-standard 'superhero ensemble' flick (like X-Men or TV's Heroes), and therefore being found wanting, it is in fact just as much a con artist movie (not, indeed, unlike McGuigan's previous Lucky Number Slevin), where the different scam artists just happen to have paranormal powers (which greatly complicate an already convoluted long con). Seen in those terms, Push may not exactly be a landmark or tower over the competition, but at least it is trying to build up something new from its old materials...
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