Superpower movie packs a punch but leaves questions unanswered
Push is an odd little movie, mostly because it exists in a world in which we’re so used to plots involving people with special powers that it’s able to jump right in with little introduction. Not that that’s a bad thing, but at times it’s hard to tell if the filmmakers themselves even know what’s going on.
From the beginning, we’re introduced to the idea of “pushers” and “watchers,” plus a handful of other doers that get no explanation. Pushers, like Nick (Chris Evans), are telekinetic, plus they’re able to influence people by making their pupils really big. Watchers, like Cassie (Dakota Fanning), can see the future and tell it through drawings. There are also “sniffers” who, as far as I could gather, can tell the history of something—and maybe even its future—by smelling it.
Nick and Cassie hook up to track down a mysterious girl, Kira (Camilla Belle), who is on the run from a government agency called Division, before its honcho (Djimon Hounsou) gets to her first. It’s never really explained why, if it’s a U.S. agency, all the action takes place in Hong Kong. Except it makes for an interesting rivalry between the locals and the American officers. (Plus, cool scenes of the Hong Kong skyline.)
The storyline is a bit hokey but mostly fun, so long as you don’t get bogged down by inaccuracies or things that don’t make a lot of sense. As mentioned above, the pushing and watching and sniffing, etc., would work a lot better if the filmmakers actually followed the rules they themselves created.
Evans and Fanning essentially make the film work. They interact well and play their roles convincingly. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the others. Hounsou is particularly disappointing, his character inspiring no feelings in particular although he is supposed to be feared and respected. Belle, too, offers a boring performance, appearing dead in the eyes for most of her scenes.
Despite all the nonsense, Push does propel everything toward a fast-paced, adrenaline rush of a finale. And in all likelihood there will be a sequel. So, we can only hope the holes left gaping open in this film will be answered in a future installment. In the meantime, it’s good, albeit mindless, fun.