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Push movie poster


Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Paul McGuigan
Starring: Djimon Hounsou, Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle

Released by: Summit Entertainment

In Short: Don't expect any Oscar distributions from this film, which is more likely to attract a cult following rather than mainstream audiences.
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When Push Comes to Shove
Unrealistic Espionage Film Better Kept Under Wraps

Directed by Paul McGuigan, this sci-fi thriller is based on real-life U.S. government research in the 1940s, including the CIA's MKUltra experiments to test human mind-control abilities. The world of Push revolves around this same concept—but just like the MKUltra program in the 1970s, the film seems to fall apart.

In Push, the Division is a government agency transforming citizens into an army of psychic warriors, with deadly results for those who refuse to participate. Nick Gant plays Chris Evans, a "mover" or telekinetic who has been hiding in Hong Kong since the Division murdered his father ten years ago. Dakota Fanning is Cassie Holmes, a 13-year-old "watcher" with the ability to see the future. She seeks Chris to help her find Kira—a "pusher" played by Camilla Belle—who holds the ability to influence others' actions by implanting ideas in their minds. Possessing the most dangerous of all psychic powers, she is instrumental in ending the Division’s program. But Chris and Cassie must act quickly: Division agent Henry Carver, another pusher who is played by Djmon Hounsou, will stop at nothing to prevent them from finding Kira and ending the program.

Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning in Push Djimon Hounsou and Camilla Belle in Push

When it comes to movies about covert government operations and mind control, films like The Manchurian Candidate are acclaimed not only for their convincing storyline but for their superior acting as well. This is not the case with Push. Crossing the lines from reality into science fiction, it’s bound to attract more of a cult following rather than mainstream audiences. We were highly disappointed with the leading and supporting role and had hoped for more of Dakota Fanning's acting skills to shine through. While showcasing a few interesting skyline views of Hong Kong, it was not enough to sustain a two-hour movie that only left the viewer hungry for more.

Reviewed by Alain Gayot and Katrina Romero

(Updated 02/11/09 KR)

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