Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The mutants are among us and the bad guy Government types are still out to get them. 'Push', set in Hong Kong, is Heroes without the soap opera. And all the better for that. It's also lacking in huge spectacle, and, funnily enough, it's all the better for that too. Its telekinetic, clairvoyant characters are a lot more down on the street than even the so-called 'everyday Joes' of the TV series, with small time hustler Chris Evans barely able to get a couple of dice rolling in the beginning. He ups his ante as the film progresses, but we are never talking Magneto or Sylar style pyrotechnics. Indeed the directorial tricks of Paul McGuigan are hardly original either. What he should have concentrated on was his pacing which flags badly in the middle. This probably has as much to do with the screenplay as anything else. For instance, with an already unoriginal premise backgrounding the action, most of the film revolves around the rather pointless Mcguffin of the 'black brief case' containing the magic drug. (Surely all the bad guys have to do is destroy it; don't they have enough at home?) With plot holes and narrative inconsistencies (a man who can blow apart his handcuffs is left 'trapped' in a car booth), you wouldn't want to be left thinking too hard about things. Sadly the screenplay gives you ample time for such contemplation. Evans is good and Dakota Fanning is a little scary trying to act all grown up, but Camilla Belle needs a little more time in drama class. Thank goodness for the CGI that gives some life to her eyes, because there's little else that's animated about her.
For all that there is something likeable about it all. The score is nice and distinctive and the look too is grimy and nicely exotic. Some of the characters are almost fleshed out enough to be likeable too and it might not be bad to see them resurrected in a better sequel. Just put a bit more time in to the script before you go before the cameras.

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