FILM RATING: 2.5 stars
I really wanted to like Push (2009) more than I did. The concept sounded cool and I thought it might be in the vain of Jumper (2008), a movie I really love and have come to appreciate even more with subsequent viewings. But the “movie magic” just didn’t come together on Push like it did on Jumper. I give Push 2.5 stars out of 5. And one of those stars is purely for the incredible visuals this film has, making it worth at least a single viewing. I’m not going to try and summarize the plot of this film, because it’s a little too jumbled and complicated…and honestly, the film just isn’t worth it to me. One of the key problems with this film is the real lack of a story and plot. It’s got all the cool elements needed for a great story, but it doesn’t put them to effective use. Just read Roger Ebert’s review to see what I’m saying. There’s no real character development that helps us understand and relate to the characters emotionally. I think Chris Evans is probably miscast in the leading role of this film. He just doesn’t have the depth yet to really be a leading man in a film with this kind of complex concept. And he doesn’t gel with the supporting characters in this film, played by Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, and Djimon Hounsou.
The reasons to watch this film at least once are simple: production design and photography. This film looks incredible. It was shot entirely in Hong Kong, and the interesting mix of architecture and Asian culture is fascinating and colorful to see. I was just blown away at times by some of the sets and locations. Production Designer Francois Seguin really showcased his talents on this film, finding quirky and challenging things for Director of Photography Peter Sova to light and photograph. The cinematography is incredible, both in its use of interesting camera angles and positions, and for it’s incredibly colorful palette. I can’t remember seeing primary colors like red and yellow in such startling use on a film. It definitely showcases the Asian culture in which the film takes place. I felt like I was transported out of America for 2 hours and dropped right into the hustle-and-bustle of Hong Kong, China.
I wish could offer something more about this film, but it just didn’t have anything more to offer in my opinion. Push is worth watching once, just to see what it might bring to the production design of your dreams. I certainly will never forget the look and feel of this film.