Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

After seeing the trailer for Summit Entertainments new movie ‘Push’ my initial concern was that it would be something similar to last summers seriously suspect ‘Jumper’ which was 80 minutes of fast moving incomprehensible pure nonsense. I should’ve been so lucky because ‘Push’ as it turns out was close to two hours of slow moving incomprehensible pure nonsense.

In this film’s stylized opening we are told that the Nazi’s… yes the Freaking Nazi’s yet again… I’m kind of sick of Nazi’s right about now in early 2009, but back on point, the Freaking Nazi’s were doing what they do, which is illegal human experiments, preferably on children, attempting to pump up their special abilities to make some super soldiers. Freaking Nazi’s. But apparently this was one of the Nazi’s ‘good’ ideas as governments from the world over have picked up where the Nazi’s have left off, grabbing these gifted individuals who have talents like telekinesis, seeing the future, mind control, screaming like banshee’s, or healing you like a corner store preacher and have started their own programs. You would think having the ability to see the future or completely control someone’s thought processes would be good enough but noooooo….. these organizations, including our own ‘The Division’ want to make them ‘better’ by injecting them with funny drugs even though every single person they inject with these drugs dies almost immediately. Not very efficient if you ask me.

This eventually leads us to our hero Nick Gant (Chris Evans), a second generation ‘Mover’ who was told as a boy by his father, before he was killed in front his eyes by Division heavy Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), to help the girl who gives him a flower. Confusing to the boy, perhaps… but it will go on to make even less sense as the movie goes on. Nick is down on his luck as he resides in China for whatever reason, but sure enough as a grown man, a future seeing ‘watcher’ named Cassie gives my man a flower and informs Nick that together they must find the young woman Kira

(Camilla Belle) who holds the key to everything. Kira you see is a ‘Pusher’, who like the eeeeevil Carver can control peoples minds and is the only person on earth who has ever survived one these wacky ability enhancing injections. Somehow Kira managed to escape The Division labs, which you would think would be very hard to do, with these valuable drugs in tow and is now in China with Nick and them. Kira had her mind wiped to keep from explaining to us how this possibly could’ve taken place, which has also made her forget where she has hid ‘the case’.

Everybody, including a quartet of beyond evil Chinese gifted ones, wants ‘the case’. Nick wants to try to change this clearly seen future where he and Cassie die. Nick assembles his own team of ‘gifted ones’ to assist in this effort. More stuff happens, bullets fly, buildings collapse, half of Hong Kong gets shot up and somehow someway… all of this gets resolved.

Directed by Paul McGuigan whose last film was the completely enjoyably over the top Lucky Number Slevin, ‘Push’ was a movie that going in looked like a can’t miss. Cool concept, quality cast of actors including Cliff Curtis and Ming Na in addition to the ones we’ve already mentioned, an established director, style to burn and a couple of nicely staged action sequences… so how did thing go so wrong?

‘Push’ as it turns out has the misfortune of having a very lethal mix of conflicting elements. This is a movie that is overly verbose, filled with people talking all of the time, but essentially saying and explaining absolutely nothing. This is a movie that has a virtual labyrinth of shifting plot points and elements and characters which lead to pretty much nowhere. This is a movie that seems to rely on a rather complex mythological comic book type universe, a universe they explain in the movies first thirty seconds leaving you to figure out the rest. Good luck with that. This movie also has what I’m nominating as the worlds worst fist fight scene between the decidedly feminine and frail Camilla Belle and one of the ‘crack’ Division agents. Worst fight scene ever. Eventually ‘Push’ completely stops making sense, the bad guys do stuff that have little rhyme or reason, our heroes follow a path that I only wish I could understand and then it just kinds of ends. This brings up another problem with ‘Push’ in that it was so plodding that it forced to you sit there and think about how it’s not making any sense as opposed to something like ‘Jumper’ which fell apart only after you left the theater.

We will tell you that the final action sequence between the Pushers and the Movers and the Screamers was outstanding. There simply wasn’t enough of this mindless action, which normally I would never endorse for any movie, but damn this one really should’ve taken that route. It’s too bad because ‘Push’ looked like it had all the ingredients to be a mini classic, but instead was left in the oven too long. Believe it or not the movie is actually worse than that stupid ass analogy I just made.

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