Push Paul McGuigan

Push Paul McGuigan
Somewhere within its mishmash of film stocks and hyper-realized neon colours Push offers an interesting examination of second-generation expectations and the hopelessness and anonymity associated with freewill thinking. But mostly it dishes out inconsistent superheroes running aimlessly around Hong Kong. American expatriate and telekinetic Nick (Chris Evans) is hiding from Division, an evil Yankee corporation dead set upon superhero experimentation, while teen psychic Cassie (Dakota Fanning) is doing her best to follow her future premonitions. It seems that Cassie's visions include a super-special superhero (Camille Belle), who used to be Nick's main squeeze, which of course brings them together and places them in danger from Division baddie, and mind controller extraordinaire, Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou). Healers, screamers and sniffers (think bloodhounds) tour around this central plot, equivocally involved to create a seeming mythology. Taking cinematic influence from the Asian locale, McGuigan avoids much of the flash commercial trappings of the genre, using visual effects sparingly, adopting a handheld approach and using on-the-spot stunt work. This helps with the overall aesthetic more so than the narrative, which starts out interesting enough but devolves into a perfunctory blow-out and master plan. There's nothing necessarily wrong with the film, as it certainly entertains, but there's nothing special either, given how borrowed the many genre elements feel. Even the frequently changing future is touched upon only as reality construct, rather than anything relating to fatalistic defiance and subsequent confusion, which is surprising, given the deliberately crowded locale and isolation of the central characters. Said simply, there is a lot of potential but little payoff. Included with the DVD is a feature-length commentary with Paul McGuigan, Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans, which is mainly anecdotal, to the tune of "man, that fish market stunk." Some deleted scenes are included, as is a mini-supplement, which talks about psychic plausibility. (Om)