Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Premise: A man with telekinetic powers (Chris Evans) teams with a young girl who has the ability to see into the future (Dakota Fanning). The two evade government agents and gangsters while in pursuit of a mysterious woman (Camilla Belle) who holds the key to a suitcase that contains a government secret.
What Works: The one positive thing to say about Push is Dakota Fanning’s performance. She brings a lot to the role as she conveys the difficulties of her gift.
What Doesn’t: Push is a variation on some of the themes in the X-Men films but it is not nearly as thoughtful or as exciting. Chris Evans is a bore to watch and his relationship with Camilla Belle is equally lifeless. Djimon Hounsou, who is a talented actor, plays the lead villain but the film does not give him anything to do. Push is extremely difficult to sit through. The action scenes are sloppy and uninspired and accomplish nothing in the story, which is a mess. The film sets up a McGuffin with a mysterious suitcase but it is never clear what is in the case or why it matters if it falls into the wrong hands. The character relationships are also unclear. Why Dakota Fanning’s character shows up at Chris Evans’ door, why he chooses to help her, or what his relationship is to Camilla Belle’s character are left unexplained and unclear. What’s worse, the film isn’t skipping exposition to spend its time on roller coaster action sequences because there aren’t any. The characters spend the second act of the picture walking around Hong Kong, whining about how they don’t know what to do until the film arrives at a conclusion that does not resolve anything.
Bottom Line: Push is a terrible film. It’s not fun or thoughtful, just a waste of two hours.
Episode: #228 (February 22, 2009)