Thursday, May 13, 2010

Push. C+


'Push' will probably only ever be remembered as the movie that made 'Precious' change its title. You might be surprised to hear it, but I actually thought this thing was OK. The movie would deserve more the faint praise I'm giving it if it had handled its material better, but unfortunately it takes its smart premise and uses it as the base of just another rowdy action picture. Still, the movie deserves props for attempting a smart actioner. The idea is that a certain group of people have certain super powers. There are different types of powers, with each person possessing different ones. The powers have names: watchers, movers, bleeders, pushers, and an assortment of others. The pushers are easily the most intriguing. They can get inside a person's head and produce memories that never actually happened. So for example, at one point on of the pushers makes her captive remember his friend murdering his brother. The captive thinks this actually happened and then goes after his friend and the girl escapes. 'Push' has a full plot, and while its not entirely believable, it held my attention. And just when you think something is going a certain way, the way usual action movies go, it shifts gears. But here's the problem with the movie: while it has a smart premise, the movie is entirely unsophisticated. It tries to sell itself with the action and the stunts. The movie moves at a rapid, gritty pace and delivers some sort of bloody action sequence in nearly every scene. And when there's not any physical action, the main characters are always on the run from their enemies. Think of 'Gatacca' and how that garnered genuine suspense without hardly any obnoxious action sequences. I wish this could have been more like that. But, while the storytelling aspect of the movie disappoints, luckily the film's high concept makes it watchable.

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