Thursday, July 30, 2015


Here's a question for you. When is an X-MEN movie, not an X-MEN movie? When it's called PUSH, a 2009 sf/action film that finds a group of super-powered young people on the run from various factions in Hong Kong.

There are no code names. No spandex costumes. But these young mutants have many of the same powers you find in almost any iteration of the X-Men past, present or future. There are Watchers who have the ability to foresee the future to varying degrees. Movers are powerful telekinetics while Pushers have the ability to implant memories, thoughts and emotions into the minds of other people. Bleeders can emit high-pitched sonic vibrations (Banshee, anyone?) that cause ruptures in a target's blood vessels. Sniffs are highly developed psychometrics who can track the location of people or objects over varying degrees. Shifters can temporarily alter the appearance of an object by manipulating patterns of light. Wipers are skilled at either temporarily or permanently erasing memories while Shadows are trained to block the visions of other mutants, such as Sniffs, by diverting the attention of the target radius so that they flicker through different locations other than the subject's actual whereabouts. And finally, Stitchers are psychic healers trained to quickly reconstruct cells to their previous or healthy state.

Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning and Camilla Belle (along with various other mutants they encounter)  are the young mutants on the run. Their parents, who had similar super powers, were recruited by a shadowy U.S. government organization known as The Division to be used as weapons in the Cold War Their offspring, who inherited the powers, are also under the thumb of the government until they escape and go on the run in Hong Kong. They must keep one step ahead of Division agents, some of whom also have super powers and a group of super powered Hong Kong mutants (think The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants).

PUSH was filmed entirely on location in Hong Kong and Peter Sova's cinematography makes the metropolis look and feel like a city on another planet. Director Paul McGuigan keeps things moving at a good pace and there are several well staged Hong Kong style action sequences throughout the film. The ending is left wide open for a sequel but it doesn't appear as if the film did well enough at the box-office to warrant a PUSH 2.

Chris Evans has made a career out of playing super powered comic book characters. He played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch in FANTASTIC FOUR (2005) and FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER (2007). He was in THE LOSERS (2010), which was based on a DC/Vertigo comic book. And he's played Steve Rogers/Captain America in four films to date: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (2011), THE AVENGERS (2012), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014) and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015) with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR set for release next year. Oh, and let's not forget SNOWPIERCER (2013) , which was based on a graphic novel.

PUSH isn't a great film but it was entertaining and it made for a good way to pass the time on a recent vacation day afternoon. If you're a fan of the X-Men and Hong Kong cinema, you'll probably enjoy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment