Review – Push (2009)

qN73wDiyplutRKOHiXaLYFgPhwKWelcome to Mind Control Month | Sci-Fi/Fantasy Week – Day 2. I must apologize, I’m getting this to you late because my computer malfunctioned. It’s back and ready to go! Today, we take a look at a film I’m sure that I’ve only seen once but was planning to see again some day. That day…is today. Out of all of the choices for this week on mind control, this one is most likely the least like it. The mind control in this film is indeed fantasy-based, but is it enough to really call this film a mind control-centric film? After all, the people who do mind control are indeed called PUSHers, which means the title, Push is based on them. Let’s get into the plot, shall we?

In Hong Kong, the “mover” Nick Gant is contacted by the “watcher” Cassie Holmes to seek out the “pusher” Kira Hollies. She has just escaped from the Division, a shadowy governmental agency that chases the youngsters with abilities. When the trio is reunited, they join to other persons with ability to fight against the “pusher” Henry Carver and his men. – IMDb

Alright, to be fair, this isn’t exactly a mind control-exclusive film. It takes place in a world full of people with various super powers, mostly coming down to five or six main ones, which have their own unique titles. Pushers, for example, are the ones that are probably the most powerful, and those are actually the people that can control other people’s minds. So, the element is certainly there, but not enough to really call this movie a perfect example for the themed week.

It isn’t a bad movie, though. This is a superhero film that tries really hard to not be like a comic book and instead be more realistic and grungy. I would put this in with the likes of Jumper, where it’s not technically a comic book type hero, but still has powers, nonetheless. So, you should still check it out if you haven’t already. It’s always fun to see Chris Evans portray a superhero. How many has he done now? Jiminy Crickets.

Let’s go ahead and break down Push to interpret the stars.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

First up, we have the people category, which did decently enough. It could’ve used some help in both the chemistry and acting department, but everything else was strong enough. The acting wasn’t bad, necessarily, but it was devoid of range. When it came to the chemistry, I didn’t really sense much of it between Evans and the two leading ladies in any sense of the word. Again, it was fine, but that was about it. The characters were all pretty memorable, though. All of their gifts and how they work together as a group is pretty awesome, which actually leads to their importance overall. No one character could’ve done everything on their own, they needed this teamwork – and they did a pretty good job here. Could it have been cast by anyone else? Good question, I’m not sure. The real answer to this is “maybe”, but I’m not confident enough to dock any points.

WRITING SCORE – 8/10
Dialogue – 1|Balance – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

Again, we have a decent score for the writing category, which received another eight out of ten possible stars. The dialogue alone isn’t really great, it’s okay, but I’ve seen better. Overall, the story follows a very solid path from beginning to end, so I’d easily call it a well-balanced film. The story…the story is a little weak. Original, maybe, but you’re really watching it for the action, characters, and mix of effects than the actual story. Even so, I’d still call it interesting enough.

BTS SCORE – 8/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1

It is yet another decent score for the behind-the-scenes category, which received eight out of ten possible stars. That’s 24/30 for those of you keeping track up to this point. The visuals, as with most superhero-like films, was pretty awesome. It didn’t always have the best-looking shots, but I’d say nine times out of ten, it looked great. The directing was mostly typical, as I never really saw anything that stood out in terms of camera work or storytelling. The editing, on the other hand, had a lot of stuff going on from beginning to end. Some flashbacks here and there, along with nice fight sequences that you can tell what’s going on. I consider it as-advertised and nothing about the music really stood out for me.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 0

By now, I’m thinking it’s a curse. Everything is scoring the same. The introduction was as good as it probably could’ve been by introducing us to the concept of powers, how they work, and of course, Chris Evans’s character. The inciting incident is when Dakota Fanning showed up and their journey begins. The obstacles? Well, what else would you expect in a superhero film? Lots of fun obstacles. The climax is a pretty smart and fun culmination of everything else put together. Finally, it really just ends as is, without giving us any falling action or returning to a new norm.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks You in – 1

Ouch, it looks like we’ve finally broken the curse of the eights, as I consider this film entertaining enough, just not enough to consider it another eight. It is pretty rewatchable in general, and it has a lot of fun aspects to it, but I wouldn’t really care to buy it, own it, or talk about it. That being said, it does an okay job sucking you in here and there, I just don’t think it sucks you in throughout the film. Take that as you will. The film just doesn’t blow you away.

SPECIAL TOTAL – 35/50
Mind Control – 5|Fantasy – 5|Action – 10|Chris Evans – 5|Halfway Decent – 10

Onto the specialty questions that I wrote down before seeing the film. Being mind control month, how does it fair? Like I said before, it’s an element of the film, but it’s not a mind control film if that makes sense. As far as being fantasy, how is that? Well, again, fantasy is the only thing that can really explain people with powers, but it’s still a dark film that bases most of its energy in being realistic, so half points there, as well. How is the action? Personally, I’d say it had a lot of great action throughout. As far as Chris Evans and his filmography go, where does this fit in? Truthfully, if I were talking about Chris Evans with someone else, I’d mention a number of great films he’s in, but I’m not sure if I’d mention this one or not – he’s not terrible in it, he’s just better in other roles. Finally, is it halfway decent? I’d say so, yeah. It seemed to successfully get what it went after.

TOTAL – 72/100

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