Scottish director Paul McGuigan has a way of making even the most clichéd genre excursions reasonably entertaining (see the slick noir Lucky Number Slevin or the slick romantic thriller Wicker Park). Add Push to that list.
McGuigan’s latest centers in the sci-fi world of psychic espionage, a place where “paranormal operatives” have the ability to move objects with their mind (Chris Evans), see the future (Dakota Fanning) and scream really loudly (a bunch of Asian dudes in sunglasses).
Evans and a gaunt, combat-boot-clad Fanning make for an unlikely but semi-effective duo on the run from a nebulous governmental agency called The Division (headed by natty Dijmon Hounsou). A painfully dull Camilla Belle shows up as Evans’ love interest, leaving one to question why he doesn’t discard her for Maggie Siff (so good in Mad Men), a nemesis of sorts whose brief appearances give Push its few moments of true intrigue.
The other saving grace is cinematographer Peter Sova, who turns his camera loose in the teeming streets of Hong Kong, giving the film a kinetic energy its vague, surprisingly low-key narrative lacks. Grade: C
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