Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Push is pretty damn good

Push is a movie about about mutants or metahumans who have special mental abilities. There are several classes of these metahumans in this movie:

  1. Movers: Individuals with telekinetic power; the ability to move objects with your mind.
  2. Bleeders: Banshee like criters who can scream until your skin splits and you organs pop
  3. Stitches: Psychic healers who can restore your from near-death like states to full health... or reverse the process.
  4. Shaders: Individuals who can hide you from Sniffers and maybe even Watchers
  5. Sniffers: Individuals who can see visions of the past and present of an object by sniffing it. They are also good bloodhounds, able to locate people by sniffing personal articles belonging to them.
  6. Watchers: Individuals who have the ability to see and draw the future based on the events currently taking place. You might call them prophets with the gift of prophecy. The problem is that the future is only a set of probabilistic outcomes, and it is always changing based on things that happen in the present.
  7. Pushers: The most dangerous class of metahumans. These individuals have the power of suggestion. The most powerful members of this class can implant entire memories of events, peoples, relatives, orders, and professional activities in your mind. If the Pusher is good, you can't tell the difference between these implanted memories and the real thing. This gives Pushers an incredible ability to control and manipulate people.

It seems that the nations of our world began experimenting with these mutants back in WWII. Nazi Germany was the first. Many other nations continue to our present day. Each of these nations have set up organizations called "Divisions" which run their programs. The objective is to harness the power of these mutants and use them as operatives. The premise may be similar to that you find in the new comedy "The Men who Stare at Goats". Many of these metahumans do not like the notion of being drafted into black-ops, and they especially dislike the medical experiments designed to amplify their abilities. Ergo, there is an underground resistance among these people, combating the Divisions of the world.

Herein lies the tale of Push.

The whole movie takes place in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong is the major star of the movie. The spectacular digital film of Hong Kong (done with the marvelous Redcam) fascinated me throughout the entire movie. I watched this movie no less than 3 times just to see more of Hong Kong.

The movie features a nice ensemble of actors. It is difficult to say who the lead is. We have a quartet of extremely important actors in the form of Chris Evans (top hero), Djimon Hounsou (top bad guy), Dokata Fanning (important heroine), and Camilla Belle (chief instigator and love interest of Chris Evans). All of them do very well, although Camilla turns in the weakest of these several performances. [She is one of the leading contenders for hot-dish de jour though.] The other three flex some serious acting muscle, turning in rock-solid performances. There are also several very important character actors.

I should mention in passing that it is a little shocking to see the way they dress and pose Dokota Fanning. She postures a little like a piece of Lolita jailbate. 13-14 year old girls do dress this way, and they do sometimes act sexually precocious. This is around the time they go boy-crazy. Still, I find it shocking to see little Dokota Fanning already 14 years of age in this movie, and acting in this fashion.

Chris Evans deserves to be singled out for accolades. This guy is not a pretty-boy. He is a very good actor, and he is starting to accumulate some pretty nice action & scifi titles in his resume. It is regrettable that The Fantastic Four turned out as badly as it did, but this is not Chris Evans' fault. I personally believe he should become the next great action hero. He should become the American answer for Jason Statham (who I think is terrific, incidentally). Those two starred together in a very demented and very interesting 2005 movie called London. It would be good to see them work together again.

While on the one hand, you may say that this is a fairly garden variety and cliche little action scifi movie with quasi-super heroes, I found it stylish enough, X-Fileish enough to be a bit refreshing. I give it 4.5 stars. I will be buying the Blu-Ray soon. I liked it very much. Not perfect, but damn good.