Push, directed by Paul McGuigan (2009).
Score: Fun and entertaining.
Push is based on real-life experiments held during the Cold War to create super soldiers. In this universe, The Division, a shady governmental organization, have created Watchers, who can see the future; Movers, who have telekinectic powers; Pushers, who can plant ideas in other people’s minds, and some other kinds of psychics. The plot is kickstarted when Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle) is the first person ever to survive a new psychic-enhancing drug. She flees the Division to Hong Kong with a dose of the drug and is hunted by Division officer Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou). Meanwhile, Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning), a Watcher and the daughter of one of the most powerful Watchers in the world, seeks the help of Nick (Chris Evans), a Mover hiding from the Division in Hong Kong as well.
The film is divided in two halves. The first half establishes the context, presents the characters, their alignment and their psychic powers and sets everything up for the heist to steal the macguffin. The second half is the heist. The first half is clearly inferior and its writing is sometimes sloppy. It’s intended as a setup for the overly complicated and exciting heist, but it fails particularly at characterisation. Nick is willing to help Cassie only because she has lied to him about the content of the suitcase, but he sticks around later for no reason and being basically useless. The recruiting of some other characters is awkward as hell too: “I’m not gonna help you!” “You will in a minute, look!” *Shows her a picture of a clock and the woman helping them* “Well, I wouldn’t want to make your drawing look bad, so I’ll help you.” And so on and so forth.
But the part with the heist is great! It’s clever and confusing and exciting and mindfucky and the reason this movie is worth watching. The rest of the movie exists for this moment and it’s so much fun. For me, there’s no such thing as too complicated. I’m guessing the reason this flopped was because the kind of people who wanted to munch popcorn to an action flick was lost in the chaos and confusion, and the people who could have enjoyed it were taken aback for the sloppiness it shows at times. I don’t think it’s that bad, give it a try. Also, it’s set in Hong Kong and everyone knows that the best science fiction is set in South-East Asia.