PG-13 Dir: Paul McGuigan | Lionsgate | 1h 51min
Plot: What’s it about?
If there’s one thing that’s most likely here to stay, it’s the superhero movie. Like the Westerns in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s there seems to be a never-ending supply of movies that feature people with extraordinary abilities. Naturally the successes of films like X-Men, Spider-Man and the Batman movies only encourage this genre. Most of these films have origins in comic books, though a few are written directly for the screen. I can also remember seeing previews for Push but didn’t think twice about it until it showed up at my doorstep. After a bit of research, I realized that Chris Evans (ironically enough who starred as Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four) was in it as was Dakota Fanning. I’m a fan, pardon the pun, of Fanning as she might be one of the best actresses for her age working today. I think we’ll be seeing her in films for quite some time. Everything else aside, let’s see if Push is another potential franchise film or just a bad knock off.
We first meet Nick as he and his father (Joel Gretsch) are on the run. His father is killed by some unknown force but gives him a warning about the future. We then flash forward to modern day Hong Kong where Nick is trying to make a living gambling by using his abilities for financial gain. Unfortunately it’s not working out and he’s on the run from a faceless government organization known only as “Division”. Nick isn’t alone, he’s sought out by Cassie (Dakota Fanning) who’s known can predict the future (Nick is telekinetic meaning he can move things with his mind). Cassie and Nick go on the run and soon meet up with Kira (Camila Belle) who has the power to control people’s minds. Naturally every government agency has a couple of stooges doing the chasing and in this case we have Henry (Djimon Hounsou) as the main bad guy. Will Cassie and Nick manage to outwit the Division and change the gruesome future that Cassie sees or will the Division get what they’re looking for?
Push is a fairly enjoyable film that has a lot of potential. I’m not sure if it was successful enough to inspire a sequel, though that doesn’t seem to be much of a pre-requisite these days. While a little thin on the plot, the film does have some pretty cool special effects and some interesting (if not outright scary) cast of characters. What really keeps this movie going is Dakota Fanning,; she’s got the acting ability of someone twice her age and is so natural in her role that it brings the movie to a different level. That’s not to say that the cast is bad in their roles, but Fanning is the bright spot here. Fans of these types of movies will no doubt enjoy this film, but there are some better movies of the genre out there, for sure.
Video: How’s it look?
A very odd choice for a 4K title this is, but once I sat down and watched it, it did seem to make more sense. This is a very colorful movie, despite the theme of it. The 2.40:1 HEVC 4K transfer really shows off the beauty of this new format. Colors pop, detail is razor sharp and in a few of the “psychic battle scenes”, things seem to fly right off the screen. What’s that got to do with this? A sleek film like Push really does show a very unique visual perspective.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The previously-released DTS HD Master Audio mix has been replaced by a Dolby Atmos track that’s full of life. This track is full of techno music with a huge, thumping bass that really seems to make the room shake. There are plenty of action sequences and I’d be lying if I said that your speakers won’t get a workout. Surrounds are used often and to great extent, but none more than the LFE which really seem to enhance the mood of the film. If you’re looking for a good-sounding disc, then this is it.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As expected, there are no new supplements for this 4K version, everything has been ported over from the original Blu-ray.
- Audio Commentary – Director Paul McGuigan and actors Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning provide a somewhat lifeless commentary track, though there are some interesting tidbits here and there. Evans doesn’t have a whole lot to say as does Fanning. The majority of the comments come from McGuigan.
- Deleted Scenes – All contain optional Audio Commentary with Director Paul McGuigan.
- Cassie Buys Alcohol
- Stowe and Popgirl on the Phone
- Cassie Hides from Stowe
- Stowe Killed by Popgirl
- The Science Behind The Fiction – We get a look at the history and range of psychic powers and how they play into the movie.
- Breaking Down the 9 Types of Psychics – I’m going overboard here, but here we go:
- Pushers – A Pusher can affect their minds by placing memories, thoughts, and emotions within their target. The more talented the Pusher, the more people they can control at once. It’s considered the most dangerous of all abilities.
- Shifters – Shifters can affect the physical appearance of an object temporarily, thanks to light manipulation. The illusion will remain for a brief period of time after a Shifter works it; talented Shifters can leave their illusions in place for longer.
- Watchers – A Watcher can see hours (and sometimes days) into the future, experiencing both images and sounds of what is going to happen.
- Stitches – Stitches are the equivalent of superhero doctors; they can heal people, but also remove the aftereffects of damaging procedures by actually manipulating and reconstructing cells.
- Movers – A Mover can do just that — move objects by altering the gravitational field around them. The more advanced the Mover, the more microscopic the level they can work at, creating fields in the air around them for protection.
- Shadows – Shadows can work their powers on their fellow psychics, shielding objects and people from their sight and senses. Shadows mainly work in opposition to…
- Sniffs – Sniffs who can track people and objects with their powers. They mainly work through images, which is a limit to their power because they have to be able to recognize surroundings and landmarks.
- Wipers – A Wiper is trained to erase memory, in both temporary and permanent cases. The more experienced the Wiper, the more certainty of pinpoint accuracy when in memory erasure.
- Bleeders – Finally, Bleeders can emit sonic vibrations. These vibrations can actually rupture the blood vessels of their target. Because of their deadly powers, they’re often employed as assassins.
The Bottom Line
It’s been nearly a decade since this film came out and until it was announced for 4K. I have no idea why. Evans has been playing Captain America since this movie came out, so I have no idea how he still feels about it. That aside, the visuals and sound on this 4K disc are second to none. It’s really a movie that’s made for this new format. Die hard fans might want to add this to their collection, but I can see it being a bargain bin 4K disc in no time at all.