Complicated storyline is the norm for science fiction. The picture "Push" is no different, with its use of characters with hyper-telekinesis and hyper-extrasensory perception to examine the possibility of an alternative battle group in future wars for world domination.
The characters in "Push" have code names such as "bleeders" (people that yell high-pitched noises that cause others to bleed), pushers (people that use the power of suggestion to make others do anything they desire), watchers (people who see pieces of the future), etc. These special people have the potential to do great harm to others with these special powers and to humanity as a whole. While the potential to do great harm to our civilization is always a potential reality, the picture concentrates on those folks with special powers doing great harm to each other, and the violence is copious.
I have always given science fiction vehicles a wider berth in analyzing a film for personal reasons. Maybe as a child, I read too many H.G. Wells novels, and as I grew into a high school literature enthusiast, I read too many Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. pieces. Regardless, I recognize my predilection toward sci-fi, with the caveat that these films must hit the mark.
"Push" almost misses the mark, with all the complicated techno-speak and I tend to question the casting of Dakota Fanning as the resident "watcher." She is a good little actress, but the precocious child thing is a bit overwrought at this point. Chris Evans as the hunky leader of the group, with his own hyper-telekinetic powers, does a good turn. Carmella Belle as the "pusher" in the group is interesting, and the Djimon Hounsou as the resident "pusher," and leader of "Division," working to harness the power of these super powerful people, long with switcher (able to switch one's perception of an item) cliff Curtis are the most accomplished in their in their respective roles. On a whole, the acting is more than adequate.
Possibly, it is Paul McGuigan's directing of the David Bourla story that misses the mark. I can't be sure; however, I am sure that while this film has enough redeeming virtues to be considered a decent picture. It not an overwhelming film in its 111 minutes of runtime, which certainly gave the picture enough time to make its case, but good enough for an evening's entertainment.
Rated PG13. Released on DVD May 29, 2009.