Saturday, January 30, 2010

“Push” – …my fingers through my eyeballs.

I’m looking for the right word to describe the situation I’m in with this movie. Part of me is trying to find reasons to like it, but the rest of me is trying to kill that part. It’s been a year since I started writing movie reviews; that first movie being “Jumper.” Do you remember that review? If so, then you should be able to help pick that word.

Let’s start with ‘unfortunate.’ Somehow, this movie slipped through my radar. I had no idea what to expect from it, so I actually went in with no expectations. After watching it, I had nearly the same horrid taste in my mouth as I had after watching “Jumper.” The only thing that made it different was that I expected “Jumper” to be good and was angry with how bad it turned out. At least with “Push,” I wasn’t angry, but it’s not a good thing that it reminded me of “Jumper.”

This leads me to ‘symmetry.’ It is incredible how similar these two movies are. Both of them were about people with mental powers, known as psi powers in science fiction. In “Push,” they had people who could read the future, move things with their minds, control people with their minds, and even tell the history of objects or people by touching them. Both movies also featured a young white man (Chris Evans) being chased by a secret organization headed by a black guy (Djimon Hounsou), and also involving a young white girl (Camilla Belle) as the love interest who ends up as a hostage. Finally, they both have plots that are confusing at best and completely disjointed and lame at worst. Although, I wouldn’t go quite so far as calling the plot of “Push” completely lame.

How about ‘ironic?’ It’s hard to tell if something is actually ironic and not just unfortunate (just ask Alanis Morrisette). I think it’s ironic that I would see a movie that reminded so much of “Jumper” on the anniversary of my first review. Or is that unfortunate? Maybe it’s apropos. I don’t know, so let’s move on.

I’m actually out of big words now, but I’ve got a lot of smaller words to get out. The first is ‘huh?’ That was the first thing I thought when this movie was over. It’s not about anything very specific, just my overall feeling. The plot (I’m using that word loosely) was hard to follow and almost nonexistent. From what I could decipher, there are two secret organizations (American and Chinese) that employ and control a number of psi people and are fighting for an advantage over the other. The American group has developed a serum that increases the psi powers, but they’ve lost it and both groups are trying to get it. We don’t know why. They keep saying that it makes the powers stronger, but what’s the point? Their people all have well-developed powers, so why try so hard? Since they never answer this question, or recover the serum, we know there is going to be a sequel.

The second word is ‘lazy.’ Nothing makes me angrier than when screenwriters seem to have forgotten what they wrote. Case in point, the hero, Nick, can push things with his mind, but he sucks at it because he never practiced. He has no idea what the extents of his powers are, but they randomly come out when he is fighting people. I’m okay with this up to the point in which he kicks the crap out of the number two guy bad guy. The bad guy is extremely well trained and takes out dozens of Chinese guys at the climax of the film. Yet, he just can’t seem to take down Nick. Not only is this stupid, but we just saw him kicking ass and Nick is basically retarded when it comes to using his powers.

The best word to describe this film is probably ‘dumb.’ The director and producers seemed to have no idea how to actually make a film. They used film devices for no reason other than how they looked. Example: many of the scenes were grainy. Typically, this is used to make the scene look raw, except it didn’t work in any of these scenes. They also did a lot of weird things with people’s eyes; dilating pupils, all black, cat eyes. The perceived purpose of this was to show us that they were using their powers, but it was completely unnecessary. Much like Dakota Fanning’s braces (yes, she was in this film), it was just distracting.

The last word I’ll leave you with is ‘screaming.’ There are a couple of Chinese guys whose power is they scream really loud. Take this as a warning not to see this film or screaming is all you’ll want to do.

Rating: Do not pay for this film. If you do, ask for your money back. It’ll ease the pain in knowing you just lost 111 minutes of your life.

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