Push (2009)

Push is a surprisingly decent movie. Much like last year's Jumper, it's a film about extraordinary individuals who are being hunted down by a menacing organization. Except Push manages to get competent and laid back performances out of the actors with a minimum of exposition.

The beginning has a brief summary of psychic abilities and how Nazis were trying to experiment on people with them (always the Nazis). But the experiments continue, and even the American government is in on it. The film takes place in Tokyo, where telekinetic--mover--Nick (Chris Evans) fails to move dice in a game of craps (or whatever you play with 3 dice), escaping angry gamblers who happen to have some bleeders (they yell and alive things start to bleed). And of course the secret organization US gov organization, Division, tracks him down after years on the run by a decade-old toothbrush that a sniffer used to find him. They're looking for an escaped girl that Nick doesn't know about. It works better than it sounds, I swear. Also, I love vague entity names.

Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning are so chill in this movie for all their characters' parental issues. Also, nice beard, Chris.

Anyways, a 13-year-old watcher (prescient) named Cassie (Dakota Fanning) comes in after the Division men leave to tell Nick that they could find something worth $6 million. She draws adorable pictures of the future on black paper and what appear to be thick Gelly Roll pens. Following her pictures they end up eventually running into the escaped girl that turns out to be Nick's ex-girlfriend Kira (Camilla Belle), who is only an ex- because she was snatched by the Division. Or is she?

So, from here on out, they're trying to keep Kira safe, find the money, and prevent everyone's death. Also, other psychic people show up to help out, more adorable drawings are drawn. Also, the bleeder/gamblers are part of a Chinese version of Division or something, and are also trying to track down the case worth 6mil. It's slightly confusing and pretty involved. Also, Djimon Hounsou shows up as the pusher villain (he can puts thoughts into other people's heads) with some sort of wonky accent I think was supposed to be American..

Gelly Roll pens, right? Also, a future filled with adorable death.

I'd probably need to see this movie again to really make sense of it. Not that it's especially brilliant, it's just caught between letting the story be told without extraneous monologuing and trying to fool the audience with lack of information. I appreciate not being told every 2 seconds what the mythology is (take note FlashForward or Heroes), so I'm not sure if being kind of confused is a legit complaint since being taken for a ride is the point.

But whatever, it was an amusing way to spend an hour and half. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning are surprisingly endearing in a low-key sort of way. The on location scenery is gorgeous, with fun Hong Kong city lights and drab fish markets.

And the fight scenes, even with special powers, had a realistic lag to them rarely seen in choreographed movie fights. In fact, Camilla Belle was in my favorite fight which incorporated her power of pushing an idea into a Division agent's head with enough spunk to fight for her life. Part of it can be seen here:

Girls who kick ass are always good in my book.

Anyway, if you happen upon this movie sometime on TV or something, watch it. It's not spectacular or particularly competent, but it's surprisingly low key and watchable for such a high concept movie.

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