Tuesday, July 14, 2009


"Push" is an entertaining film. It looks cool, and is engaging - I was always interested in what would happen next, and in uncovering the film's many mysteries. The actors are likable, the CGI is well-done, and I liked how there was only around 5 or so types of special powers, and that they were actually quite reasonable in that they were based off of abilities real people actually have (or claim to have) - to varying degrees; though, ridiculously exaggerated in the film, of course, but that's the beauty of movies.

Unfortunately, that's all the positives the film has, which might actually be enough for most people. The negatives, however, comes down to ambition, character motivation, and originality. The film is over-ambitious. It isn't based off of a comic, book, or TV show, and wants to establish its own mythology and characters and have many sequels. The film wants to accomplish much without a fanbase or any kind of reference to what is going on, who these people are, and why the audience should care.

The basic plot steals heavily off the TV show, "Heroes", as there's a major organization that kidnaps folks with special abilities to drug test them to improve their abilities into becoming the ultimate weapons. Why they couldn't just kidnap them and have them use their set abilities, that are already good enough, is beyond me as their drug implementation program has been sucking balls for decades. The best they've done is create a drug which is supposed to slightly improve powers, but has always killed whomever they've given it to (instantly? not explained, or I just missed it). Anyway, near the beginning of the movie, the character Camilla Belle plays, survives the injection and escapes the facility she was imprisoned in, but takes the needle with the drug inside it with her - now, whether this drug was exactly the same as what is tested on everyone, whether it was a newly constructed formula, and whether the agency Camilla took it from has more of the same, or at least kept notes on how to recreate it is never explained (at least I didn't catch it if it was), and is critically important information the audience, and the film's plot, need to, at some point, know.

So, the agency chases after Camilla to get her, and the drug back, but she's hidden it, and gotten someone to erase her memory as to where she put it. Meanwhile, an Asian agency also chases after Camilla as they, too, want the drug... so they can have the sort of power the agency has... hold on, what? I'll pause a moment and explain the idiocy of this: assuming this drug is a new strain that will not immediately kill off everyone but Camilla, the drug still kills whomever takes it, and is only a small boost, that doesn't take effect right away, that, if not supplemented with another drug that only the agency has, will kill the person before it gives them that slight boost. Long story short, the drug, in anyone's hands besides the agency, absolutely sucks balls, and even in their hands, isn't earth-shatteringly special. That, and how it is that the Asian agency holds this bigger, crap, agency in high regard, is beyond me (zero success rate is not something to hold in high regard, or maybe I should give them half a point for Camilla as she's barely alive).

I haven't even gotten to Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning's motivations, which are sketchy, and actually impenetrable. Yes, she can tell the future, and sees her death, and that it has something to do with Camilla and a briefcase - which I'm not sure if she immediately knows the contents of, but finds out at some point is a drug, anyway, it doesn't actually matter. What matters, and what's baffling, is why she wants to get involved in the affair that would lead to her, Camilla, Chris, and his 2 other friends' death to begin with, and why everyone else would go along with her.

Throughout the movie, I never got a firm grasp of the characters or their motivations, or understood them the way the film did. Take Chris Evans, for instance: he has the ability to move things with his mind, but he sucks at it as he's always losing at dice betting; however, he seems to know a lot of people with special abilities, and they trust him with their lives when he can barely handle his own (he owes a lot of people money). I would not have chosen him as ultimate mastermind to uncover the drug, take down the agency, and keep all his friends from dying a foreseen, by Dakota, death.

To summarize, the film is about a bunch of people risking their lives over something fairly worthless. It is an entertaining and engaging puzzle, but pointless in every way.


Author: J-P