Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Chris Evans, Djimon Hounsou, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, Neil Jackson
Director: Paul McGuigan
Release Date: 6 February 2009
Length: 111 minutes
Movie Rating: PG-13
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“On the run from the Division, a shadowy government agency that uses people with psychic abilities to do their bidding, telekinetic Nick Gant (Chris Evans) and clairvoyant Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning) join forces to find a third psychic who can help them destroy the organization. But when the Division picks up their trail, it sends a powerful agent (Djimon Hounsou) to stop them at all costs in this atmospheric thriller.” — Netflix.com
I loved the original world that Push took place in. It is a slightly futuristic world where many are born with psychic talents. There are Movers who can push objects with their minds; Watchers who see into the future; Benders who make you believe alternate truths or erase memories; Sniffers who can see an object’s history by smelling it; Shifters who can change the appearance of an object; a Stitch who can heal a wound with a touch; Bleeders who scream so loud that they literally pop blood vessels and can kill you. All legal psychics are part of the Division, a government agency who controls those with special powers. Anyone outside of the Division is a rogue psychic and is hunted down, tracked and eventually absorbed into the Division whether they want to work for them or not. Each power has its pros and cons and each psychic has a different level of power and control. These psychics are most effective when they are able to team up together and use their talents in tandem. I thought that the world building in this movie was very strong, but, unfortunately, the rest of the movie did not impress me quite as much.
The movie started out well, with good introductions into this different world and some interesting action sequences as the leads meet each other and decide to team up. I thought that the characters themselves were interesting and they carried a lot of baggage, which could have made for a great movie if they had been used in a different way. Dakota Fanning did a good job in a punkish, street urchin role as a Watcher with limited views into the future who is hoping to save her mother. Chris Evans was okay in his role as the lead. He is a Mover, but not a very strong one. He does not have the same level of power or control that his father, a legendary Mover had, but that doesn’t stop the Division from hunting him down. Djimon Hounsou was very intimidating and scary in his role as the Division Agent in charge of bringing both of these rogue psychics in. Whenever he is on screen, he draws the attention away from everyone else and on to himself. The rest of the cast performed ably, though with little distinction. This is definitely an ensemble movie where no single character gets a lot of screen time and focus aside from the 2 main characters (Chris Evans & Dakota Fanning) who are in most of the scenes.
So with a great world and decent acting, why did I give this movie only 3 stars? Well, I loved the first half of the film and then it just kind of fizzled out for me. The middle sagged quite a bit and did not seem to have a lot of direction. They tried to pick it back up again at the end of the film, but it was a little too late by then. The special effects are very good, if a little video-gamish and the movie is interesting, but they weren’t quite able to put all of the pieces together for me. I hope that they plan a sequel to this movie, though, as I think that, now the world has been set up, they have a lot of opportunities to create some interesting adventures for upcoming films. Freeing the psychics from the evil Division, anyone?
This movie contains some intense and frequent scenes of violence and action. Most of them feel very futuristic or video-game-like so they are not as graphic as they would appear otherwise. There is some strong language, underage smoking and underage drinking. There is one sensual scene, but nothing is really shown, more hinted at. Recommended for viewers ages 14 and up.