So, the week of Thanksgiving has not exactly started off great for me. To start, I had to work over the weekend; partially because I was making up for some of the days I had taken off and partially because I am knew I was going to be very busy this week and was trying to get a leg up on everything. Then I wound up oversleeping this morning, which basically through my whole day off and I could only get the plot outline for today’s movie written before I had to leave for work. Once I got to work, I learned that even more stuff had happened to make this week even more unbearable. But enough complaining about my shitty day. Now let’s focus on something fun, like today’s movie, Push.
The plot: In 1945, Nazi Germany was attempting to train people with psychic abilities to be used as weapons. After the war, several other governments attempted the same thing, setting up their own programs to find and experiment on these people. Decades later, a young boy named Nick and his father rush into their hotel room. When Nick asks what is going on, his father tells him that some time in the future, a girl will give him a flower and he must help that girl and warns him not to make any moves that a “Watcher” can track. Nick’s father then uses telekinesis to push open an air vent and pushes Nick through it, just before government agents, led by Agent Carver, show up to arrest them. After a brief skirmish, Nick’s father is killed and Nick watches as Carver leaves the room and orders his Dad’s body brought back with them. Ten years later, Carver is overseeing an experimental drug being used on a test subject and when she manages to survive, she grabs the remaining syringe and manages to escape from the lab, helped by a glass ball that managed to keep an emergency door open so she could escape. Nick, who is a “Mover” just like his dad, has been hiding in Hong Kong, using his powers to try and help cheat at dice rolls but failing. Returning to his apartment, he finds two Division “Sniffs” waiting for him, having tracked his location by a toothbrush left behind when his dad was killed, and they say they want his help finding a girl who stole something from them but when he refuses, the leave but take his toothbrush so that they can find him again. Nick starts to pack his belonging so he can leave when he receives a phone call from a girl telling him to open his door. He opens the door and meets Cassie, a 13 year old Watcher, who can see glimpses of the future and draws pictures of them. She tells Nick that she saw a vision of them with $6 million dollars and as they are eating, she explains that she is a 2nd generation psychic just like Nick. When she says that the way they get the money involves finding the girl and the case she is carrying, Nick goes to leave, saying he doesn’t want any part of it. Suddenly, Cassie gets a vision of them being attacked by Bleeders, psychics able to emit high pitched screams, and tries to get Nick out of there but they are stopped by the Pop Family, who was led there by Pop Father’s daughter Pop Girl, who is also a Watcher. Nick and Cassie try to escape but when they are trapped, Nick uses his power to push her to safety. One of the Pop brothers starts attacking Nick but stops when Pop Girl gets a vision that killing Nick loses their chance of finding the girl. Meanwhile, the girl that escaped from Division has made it to Hong Kong with no memory of what happened but sees a note she had apparently written in lipstick on the mirror saying, “4100 Nick”. Elsewhere, Cassie gets a vision that leads her to where Nick is and she meets a Stitch, a psychic healer, who says that Cassie’s mother told her to be at the market on that day and to help Nick. After he is healed, Cassie gives Nick a flower and admits that there is no money and that the future has changed now. Meanwhile, the two sniffs have located the girl, Kira, and start to take her back to Carver but when they make a restroom break, she is able to use her powers to get one of the agents to kill his partner, then she knocks him out and takes their weapons and car. Carver arrives in town and the agent apologizes but Carver, who is a Pusher like Kira, uses his power to get the man to kill himself, then tells his assistant Victor to get every Sniff and Watcher they can to look for Kira. Nick starts going through Cassie’s drawings and recognizing one of them, heads to a club where they meet Hook, a friend of Nick’s who is also an ex-Division “Shifter”. Hook sends them to a Sniff named Emily, who tells them that Division has been looking for the girl and tells them where she is. When they get to the pier, Nick realizes that the girl they are looking for is his ex-girlfriend and she is not happy to see him. When they ask about the case, she says she doesn’t remember anything from the last few days and Nick says she had a Wiper erase her memories. Nick hires a Shadow named Pinky, who is able to shield Kira from other psychics so long as he is close to her but Cassie is upset because the future has changed to where she dies as well as Nick and her mother. Going for a walk, she encounters Pop Girl, who warns Cassie that she has seen her death too. Cassie gets drunk in order to help increase her vision’s clarity and is able to warn the group before the Pop Boys and Pop Girl show up to kill them. Pinky and Kira separate from Nick and Cassie and Nick calls Emily to learn where Carver is, wanting to kill him before he kills them. Finding them at a restaurant, he uses his powers to hold guns to Carver’s and Victor’s heads but Carver distracts Nick long enough by telling him Kira will die unless she receives the necessary injections, which allows Victor, who is a Mover as well, to get control of one of the guns and start fighting with Nick and eventually overpowers Nick with his powers. Meanwhile, Carver heads outside and runs into Cassie, who essentially bargains with him for Nick’s life, saying he is the only one that would be able to find the case. Nick and Cassie meet up with Pinky, Hook, and Kira and Kira tells Nick that the case contains a syringe with a drug that boosts people’s powers, but that she is the only person that survived the injection. Cassie has a vision of Kira’s shoe and finds a key in it and the group heads to Emily’s to find out where the key goes to. When Emily tries to locate it, she discovers that it is being shaded by a Shadow strong enough to shade an entire building. Knowing that the Division Watchers, as well as the Pop Family’s, will be able to know what they are doing before they do it, Nick comes up with a plan to write down instructions to everyone, then have his memory wiped so that he won’t know what he wrote. He hands Kira a note, telling her to open it when she begins to doubt the truth, then sends her with Pinky to meet with Carver, so she can get the medicine she needs. After they drive off, he gives Cassie, Hook, and Emily their notes and then heads off on his own. Pink hands Kira over to Carver and Victor, who pay him, and after they leave, he opens his note and takes Nick to see the man that wiped Kira’s memories. The Wiper says that 5 years ago, an American woman paid him to wipe the memories of a young woman and also told him what he would be wiping from Nick. When Nick’s memories are wiped, the visions Pop Girl had been having vanish and Pop Father slaps her when she tells him. Hook heads to the building where the drug is being kept and takes it back to Emily’s, where he makes a fake case look like the real one and gives it to Cassie, who follows Nick’s instructions and takes it to Nick’s apartment. Nick comes too and finds his note saying to go home and when he gets there, he finds the case but is crippled by the Stitch that healed him, who worked out a deal with the Pop Family. The Pop Boys grab the case and the Stitch moves to finish killing Nick but he uses his powers to point the guns Cassie hid for him at her and forces her to heal him. Meanwhile, the Pop Boys take the case to their father but it is revealed to be a fake and Pop Girl tells them where to find the syringe before she leaves to go kill Cassie, who had called to taunt her about what happened. Cassie meets up with Nick and is worried about dying but Nick says it won’t happen and tells her not to do anything that would allow a Watcher to track her. Cassie and Nick separate and Cassie follows Nick’s advise but Pop Girl finds her and prepares to shoot her when the Wiper suddenly appears and wipes her memory. Nick calls Carver to arrange an exchange for Kira but when he meets with Kira, he finds that Carver has convinced her that she is an agent that volunteered for the drug trial and that the relationship with Nick was a fake. Nick receives a call from Hook, who tells Nick to take the drug then asks to speak with Carver. Carver, Victor, and Kira head to where the drug was kept and leave Nick in the trunk of their car. After getting the case, Carver tells Victor to kill Nick but they are stopped by the Pop Family, who want the case for themselves. A fight breaks out and Victor throws two of the men off the building, causing them to fall on the car and pop open the trunk, freeing Nick. Nick heads upstairs to rescue Kira but Victor starts fighting with him. During the fight, one of the Pop Boys tries to attack them but ends up being killed by Victor. Seeing his son dead, Pop Father unleashes his power, killing Victor but Nick brings a wooden structure down on top of Pop Father, killing him. Carver and Kira survived and as they kill the last of the guards, Nick tries to stop them but when Carver tries to control Nick, he fights back and is able to grab the drug. Telling Kira that what Carver told her is a lie, he injects himself with the drug and collapses on the ground and Carver and Kira leave. After they have gone, Cassie approaches Nick and shows him where the real drug is, as Nick had injected himself with soy sauce. Nick asks how long he thinks her mom was planning this and Cassie says before she was born. Nick worries about Kira but Cassie says they will be seeing her soon as on the plane, Kira opens Nick’s note to find a picture of them at Coney Island, which Carver said never happened, and a message written on it saying, “Kill Him. See U Soon, Nick”. Kira stares at Carver and tells him to put his gun in his mouth and pull the trigger and as the screen fades to black, a shot rings out.
Push met with mostly negative reviews from the critics, holding a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The sci-fi thriller Push is visually flashy but hyperkinetic and convoluted.” Wildstorm, an offshoot of DC Comics, published a comic mini-series that acted as a prequel to the movie. The movie did enjoy a mild success at the box office, earning $48.9 million off of a $38 million budget.
A bit of a convoluted mess at times, but an entertaining movie none the less. The acting was pretty decent, with Chris Evans (Nick), Dakota Fanning (Cassie) and Djimon Hounsou (Carver) did great jobs in their roles. I really liked the dynamic between Nick and Cassie in the movie and how it evolved throughout the movie. The story was pretty good, based loosely on an actual government project, but the one drawback I think it really suffered from is that they tried to make things overly complicated when something simpler would have been more effective. While there were not a whole lot of special effects in this movie, focusing more on character development instead, but the times they were used (mainly Nick and Victor’s powers) was pretty impressive. Not your usual super hero movie but it can be an entertaining way to pass the time.
Rating: 3 out of 5