Mr. Movie

'Push' stylish, compelling but confusing

Push is a science-fiction thriller where some people have telekinetic powers. They can see the future. Others have the ability to move objects with their minds and with powers so great they can even stop bullets.

There are those that can keep people with telekinetic powers from seeing others with telekinetic powers. And the list of abilities goes on. A department of the U.S. government called the Division is full of bad guy agents with the same powers. They are experimenting on those not wanting to cooperate. The goal is to develop some sort of a super psychic.

The mutants—can we call them that?—never survive the experiments. Then Camilla Belle’s (10,000 B.C. ) Kira Hudson survives one. Taking the experimenters by surprise, she escapes and on the way out grabs a hypo full of the stuff and takes it with her.

The Division needs to get her and the formula back.

Hong Kong is apparently where those not wanting to be caught by the Division go. You’re not told why. Dakota Fanning is a teenager whose mom has special powers over and above others with special powers. Mom has been grabbed by the Division. Fanning’s Cassie Holmes wants her back. She seeks out Chris Evans’ (The Human Torch from the Fantastic Four) Nick Grant. As a child, his dad predicted the girl would give him a flower and that they would save their species.

Or something like that.

The holes and plot gaps in Push are many. It’s like the shape-shifting future that the psychics try to fathom. To them, the future is predictable but not solid. It can change depending on the actions of individuals and the actions of themselves and other psychics.

Your perception of the organization and the people it is stalking will also shift and change. After talking to many in a promotional screening crowd, I have determined that your understanding of just what is happening will correspond to the amount of time you spend watching the Sci-Fi channel and TV shows such as Heroes.

I don’t watch a lot of TV.

Push has an outstanding cast, a compelling style, terrific sets, dazzling cinematography and—though not original—some excellent sci-fi effects. Even the premise is interesting and with some work, Push could have been a very good movie. But writer David Bourla who has written films even I have never heard of, leaves so many gaps, holes and questions in his plot that Paul McGuigan’s (Lucky Number Sleven) stylish directing and production is wasted.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It opens Friday, Feb. 6 at the Columbia Mall 8 and at Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.