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Friday, February 6, 2009

Push (**1/2)

PUSH
 
The problem with Push is that it's incoherent at the screenplay level. Push introduces a world where hundreds of telekinetics and various forms of psychics are pursued by a shadowy government agency called Division, which employs their own telekinetics and psychics. These men and women are categorized by their one specific ability with words like Pusher, Watcher, Mover, Bleeder, Screamer, Gouger, Scrounger, Flounder, and other words that end in 'er' - I lost track. The characters are all running around day-glo, colorful Hong Kong chasing after a MacGuffan, in this case a syringe that when injected could make a psychic even more powerful, except it has a 99% death rate. Those are shitty odds. Why they wanted this syringe so much, I couldn't fathom. A cast of actors I quite like - Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Djimon Hounsou, Chris Curtis (having a Sunshine reunion with Evans I rather enjoyed) - don't seem to make much more sense of the story than the audience but they're pretty game anyway. Fanning and Evans quickly developed an easy big brother/little sister chemistry that comprises the most enjoyable aspect of Push. Belle is a pretty cypher with one facial expression and almost no dialogue. The telekinetic battle scenes are pretty good, the action is bloody and super violent (Belle even gets punched right in the babymaker), but the Watchers' seeing the future and drawing it is straight out of Heroes. There's also a lot of irritating talk where the Watchers keep taunting that they know how each other will die but they end up wrong, so how useful is their clairvoyance? Still, I thought Push was fun to watch moment-to-moment even though I didn't care what was happening. I might even be interested in the Push sequel they shamelessly teased at the end.

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