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Friday, September 29, 2023

Life + Arts

‘Push’ plot goes nowhere

In Push, a gritty action thriller staring Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans, humans have been genetically altered by the government in their ever-diligent quest to create a master race.’ The movie description promises ‘to burrow deep into the world of psychic espionage,’ but in almost two hours, Push does nothing but skim the surface.’

We are introduced to Evan’s character, Nick Gant, who is a ‘mover,’ or telekinetic. He is visited by Fanning’s Cassie Holmes, now all grown up and with the wacky-colored hair extensions to prove it. Her power is that of a ‘watcher,’ someone who can see the future.

All of the genetically-altered folks have a totally cool nicknames for their super powers, by the way. For instance, the ‘stitch’ can mend and break bones.

The unlikeliest of pairs, Cassie and Nick embark on a quest to save runaway Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle) and to save the world, but that’s where the plot disintegrates’ faster than the movie’s tank full of koi when subjected to a high-pitched, genetically-altered scream, which can also melt brains.

The plot, full of twists and turns, only leads to dead ends.’ Nick and Cassie have to find the girl with special powers, find the box and the syringe and save Cassie’s mom and all people with special abilities.’ The story lumbers clumsily along, often using a special ability to advance the plot rather than add to it.’ The results are characters popping up out of nowhere with no explanation as to how they got there; doing impressive yet impossible feats and fade away, never to be heard or seen from again.

Kira Hudson is the much-sought-after runaway who escaped a government laboratory.’ After waking up with severe amnesia in Hong Kong, she cannot remember where she had stashed some very important government property.’ Hudson is a ‘pusher,’ meaning she can push her own thoughts into people’s brains, hence the name of the movie.’ Even this is vague since Hudson’s pushing abilities do not figure prominently into the story’s plot line.’ ‘ ‘ ‘

Blood Diamonds’ Djimon Hounsou also stars as the resident bad guy in the film. He works for the government and is also a pusher, but he’s hell-bent on giving each genetically-altered person an injection that supposedly enhances their powers, though no one has survived to prove its merit.’

But then we’re back to the mom-situation when it is discovered that Holmes’ mother is locked away by the government for being the best ‘watcher’ in history. Though there is much talk of rescuing her – and the entire mission was launched for that sole purpose – the movie ends rather anti-climactically with no real solution.’ It’s as if the writers pooped out and decided to call it a day.

Directed by Lucky Number Slevin’s Paul McGuigan, Push totally delivers in the shock-and-awe department. The special effects are seamless and the super powers entertaining, but the movie fails to deliver when the novelty of genetically-altered humans wears off.’ The flat story line muffles the talents of Fanning and Evans and eventually distorts the message of the entire movie.’ This wouldn’t have been so obvious if we hadn’t seen this subject matter done much better before. Push gives the sense of watching ‘Heroes’ underwater.

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans, Camilla Belle
Verdict: ‘Heroes’ has a better plot, and it’s on TV.

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