New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
Push (Paul McGuigan, 2009)
To begin with, Push makes excellent usage of its busy Hong Kong setting. A sci-fi spectacle in which the pyrotechnics take a backseat to such things as the reflections of neon lights in a carís window and the gaudy glitz of a high-rise casino, the movie has its own distinctive, lived-in style. Peter Sovaís cinematography, impressive as it is, is not the sole technical asset. The film editing, through the plotís introduction of psychic powers, treats time and space as wholly malleable concepts, but never overwhelms or confuses. The sound design, too, is considerably toned down compared to most movies of this kind, often achieving only an ambient drone. In some scenes, Push almost becomes a mood piece, with characters finding moments of calm amid the chaos. All of these elements conspire to give the film a distinctly different feel from your average action blockbuster.
Even the plot here, which involves genetic experiments and secret government agencies, is less overblown than is typical in the genre. There are no absurd spandex costumes, and more importantly, no moments that beg the audience to cheer the heroesí actions. In fact, the overriding impression here becomes one of helplessness. The characters in this movie are not superheroes. They feel the weight of fate and worry about their mortality. They buckle under tension and seem uncertain at all times how to proceed. Such constant distress makes for a unique, yet compelling, viewing experience. In tone, the film feels more like Gilliamís 12 Monkeys than anything to have sprung from a comic book shop. As tempting as it is to rave more, overselling Push would do it no favors. As much as it feels fresh it certainly bows to its genre often enough to seem less that wholly new, but sometimes, as they do here, the slightest deviations from the mold come as a shock.