Movie Review: Push

Movies and Television

Push was good Heroes vs. bad Heroes in every sense, with an assortment of powers spread pretty evenly across the board.

Evans and Fanning, Push © 2009 Summit Entertainment

Helmed by director Paul McGuigan (not the former bassist from Oasis), Push is about a group of super powered folks hiding from The Division, a sinister government group of other super powered folks. Clearly writer/producer David Bourla did not have to search far and wide for source material.

And thus we see the Good Guys, trying to save The Girl from the Bad Guys, in a race against other Bad Guys to recover The Item.

The MacGuffin in question is a case containing a power-amping but dangerous drug that allegedly only The Girl has been able to survive. Hiding in Hong Kong, these rebels struggle to stay off the psychic radar, until The Girl escapes from Division and the fight is on. *

Good Guys: Chris Evans (Fantastic Four franchise) obligatory leading hotboy; Ming “Deb Chen” Na, reluctant hero; FBI in charge of Die Hard 4 guy; and various other extras.

Bad Guys: Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as the Big Bad; his ever-faithful lapdog, Suit guy; and a few other random TV dudes to do his bidding. Plus there are the Asians gang guys, (though the pretty girl was kind of on/off), to serve the role of “enemy of my enemy.”

In the middle but not really because we know better: Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds) with prophecies of doom and a brief tete-a-tete with Big Bad, that did not result in him killing her on the spot as if to suggest he was using her all along; The It Girl, who killed (sort of) in self-defense and seemed shifty but, come the fuck on; and the “I help because I owe your mom” healer chick that wears stilettos, who we know is only out for herself.

Evil incarnate: Costume designers.

  • The It Girl was not forced into a “skin tight, low cut, Miracle bra, exposed midriff clichd” Michael Bay movie wardrobe, so that was good.
  • A punked out Dakota Fanning was put in a jacket and tall boots, as if to suggest Fall or Winter, but Daisy Dukes to make her seem old for her years; skeevy but in a “well, just take a walk through a mall sometime” semi-realistic way.
  • But… they kept Chris Evans’ shirt on. What the hell?!? Plenty of times to remove it, keep it off for a few minutes here and there. Missed opportunities! Eevviill!
© 2009 Summit Entertainment

One interesting thing about the cast: not all Hollywood super pretty. The Asian setting helps with all the extras, but Chris Evans and Djimon Hounsou were the only ones to bring heavyweight hot. The guys were all average and the women were all attractive and thin (but not freakishly so), but not over-the-top. The Girl wasn’t a total bombshell IMO, even all glammed up at the end; I’ve seen other pictures of her at premieres, in which she looks much “It Girl” prettier.

Anyway lots fighty fight fu, graphics and CGI but nothing to raise the bar. Uneven but interesting “us vs. them” story, interesting having the meaning of “lifted from every other comic book, movie, television show ever made about super heroes.” So you have seen this in X-Men, Heroes, on the CW for typing out loud, which is why I’ve not covered who has Telekinesis or Premonitions or Mind Control; about the only power I have not seen as such were the “Sniffers,” basically supernatural bloodhounds.

Entertaining enough I suppose if you like this sort of thing (which I do), but the movie was not unique, cool, fun, clever enough to be all that special. My biggest annoyance was the whole “set-up for a sequel, unresolved ending” bullshit. Get over yourself, Push. Not every movie deserves its Electric Boogaloo.

Final Snark: Heroic ambition meets Hong Kong meets sewer meets high rise big money meets seamy underbelly and the scent of weird food only travels show hosts would eat.

*edited to placate blog editor, b/c I assumed you did not care who “wrote” or directed this and glossed over those details. My bad.

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