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Starring: Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Djimon Hounsou, Camilla Belle

Director: Paul McGuigan

Screenplay: David Bourla

Cinematography: Peter Sova

Original Score: Neil Davidge

Running Time: 111 Mins.

Kinetic, now there’s a word that’s not used often enough to describe a film, and quite frankly it’s the best way to describe Push! Sure, it helps that it’s set in Hong Kong one of the most filmic cities in the world, but theres an energy to Push rarely found in films of late and it doesn’t half rub off on the audience. 

Beginning with a prologue similar to that of last years Jumper, I feared we were on the road to a similarly underwhelming experience, one that totally failed in living up to its ‘people with cool super-powers’ concept, how wrong I was, as the film leapt straight into an intriguing credit sequence in which Dakota Fanning narrates the rules of the world we are about to enter, and from then on in you will be gripped and not let go.

Director McGuigan’s last effort was the messy and slow Lucky Number Slevin, and since then he seems to have found a rocket well and truly placed under him, his direction here crackles with the pace and excitement you wish was found in the more populist superhero movies. Yes, as much as Push fits into that ‘superhero’ cannon it really is a good few notches higher in quality and character than your average Spiderman or Fantastic 4 (in which star Evans also appeared).

Which brings me too the cast, rather than opt for the usual big names, the roster here is chock full of excellent character actors on the brink of super-stardom. Chris Evans finally gets the role that should seal his reputation as ‘one to watch’ and Dakota Fanning shows she is developing beyond the ‘child star’ tag she was beginning to slip into with bilge like Hide and Seek and Charlotte’s Web. The list goes on, with special mention going to Hounsou as a truly menacing villain with the ability to enter peoples thoughts and change them.

It’s in the abilities each character possesses that the best and most subtly interesting use of special effects in quite some time comes about, while not as overtly subtle as those to age and de-age Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button they help make the world that all the Pushers, Watchers, Sniffers, healers (you can guess what powers these people possess from their names incidentally!) etc. live in. Its in the force powers that the most effective action scenes are bore from, with Evanseither controlling to guns with his mind to peoples temples or being brutally hurled into glass ceilings, for the faint of heart this is not and the 12a certificate seems a little tame considering the brutality on display. 

The only quibble I’d level at the film is that it leaves it a bit TOO blatantly open for a sequel, which if it happens would be no bad thing but I can’t help but feel following the closing scenes we have only seen an introduction to something much bigger, a feeling I didn’t have prior to said scenes. But now I’m just nit picking, and in truth it really is a great pleasure to see something so fresh and inventive.

VERDICT

A real breath of fresh air, not only to the ‘superhero’ genre but to cinema in general! Push is the most energetic and original cinema experience in a long time, hurtling along at crackling speed and chock full of memorable  performances, slightly let down by the blatant lead in to a sequel, that in all honesty I hope will happen…if only it can keep up the pace! 

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