…vortex

“Push” (2009)

PushThis is my second attempt at writing a review of this picture. I think it’s hard for me because I expected a completely different movie than it actually turned out to be. It could’ve been a mind-blowing thriller, with a powerful story, and gripping action – almost a perfect thriller. It could have. Unfortunately…

Unfortunately, we have a little boring movie, which could hardly be called a thriller. There are pretty decent action sequences, elements of fortune-telling, supernatural powers, and a bit convoluted plot (and that’s not even an advantage). Sounds familiar? It’s similar to “Minority Report,” (2002) except the latter is better in every respect.

“Push” tells a story of three characters, basically. Nick (Chris Evans), his (ex-)girlfriend Kira (Camilla Belle), and twisted Cassie (Dakota Fanning) meet in Hong Kong with one purpose – to get a mysterious briefcase. Each of them has different mental/psychic powers. Of course, there is also a villain – agent Carver (Djimon Hounsou). Throughout the movie, they play hide and seek in the urban jungle of Hong Kong. However, the story itself is not powerful enough to grab me by the throat, and keep me in suspense till the end. It gets tedious ‘cause it develops too slowly, especially in the first half of the time.

As far as the cast is concerned, there’s a handful of good-looking people. Chris Evans, being one, is cool, but it seems to me he has the very same remote expression on his face thru the entire movie. However, there are two actors, who carry the movie on their shoulders. Dakota Fanning adds a lot of youthful contentiousness and a bit of a wild side. I enjoyed the scenes where she pulled a drinking stunt, or when she gave a snappy response. It made the movie amusing. Another one is very convincing Djimon Hounsou – the ultimate bad guy, very powerful and unstoppable. He’s pretty scary, as well.

One of the elements I enjoy is the location. We walk thru the streets and markets of Hong Kong (by no means, the glamorous part of it). It creates an exotic atmosphere with an air of danger (shabby bars, underworld hideouts, and deserted skyscrapers). I like this urban jungle throbbing with life 24/7. It seems Hong Kong is a good place for all folk with superpowers.

Anyway, I like one more element: face close-ups. They’re supposed to reflect the characters’ emotional struggle. Visually, a pleasant addition to the picture.

“Push” is a pleasant movie, but is short on this thrill I expect from a thriller. It’s really a one-time movie. By contrast, “Minority Report” is exciting and entertaining, even for the second/third time. “Push” delivers some action, but the plot doesn’t impress me. I’ve already mentioned the beautiful sights of Hong Kong, and the characters. It’s good, but not sensational. In any case, if you’re looking for a movie, during which you can munch your popcorn, that’s the one.

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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2 thoughts on “…vortex

  1. Beechbone says:

    While the movie is by no means any kind of masterpiece, it wasn’t that bad at all. The story develops at its own pace which may seem slow but it needs to be this way to show us all the rules of this alternate reality the movie is set in. And in my opinion it does a fine job of revealing the whole mythology so to speak while telling the main story here at the same time. You compare it “Minority Report” but remember that when Spielberg meets Dick it has to be an all-win situation, and it is. Sure Chris Evans i not Tom Cruise and going after girl with super powers in “Push” is not as engaging as chasing your own life and freedom in Report’s masterwork utopian reality but “Push” is a very cool movie anyways. Evans aside, there’s some good quality acting with Fanning finally really good and convincing and pretty Belle doing just what she has to do. Moreover it’s visually engrossing and not only by the looks of Hong Kong. I’m talking about pretty much everything, from set decoration to wardrobe to cinematography. I have to admit a few times I lost myself in who is good or evil at what time and who is actually “pushed” and who resists but overall I had a very good time with this flick.

    • Queen of the Grubs says:

      Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying the movie is a complete disaster. Yet, I still think it is a bit boring. It starts to develop more dynamically from the point where Chris Evans character writes the notes for each of them. From then on it’s great. And visually it’s super, but I expect more from the movie than just special effects or nice landscapes. One more thing. If it wasn’t shot in Hong Kong, it’be be much worse, I’m afraid. So the choice of location, in this case, is successful.

      One way or another, I invite you to read Roger Ebert’s wonderful review:

      http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090204/REVIEWS/902059995/1023

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