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All colour but no flash.

A scene early in Push got my hopes up. Nick (Chris Evans) and Cassie (Dakota Fanning, looking tough with Avril Lavigne hair) are being chased through a Hong Kong fish market. Their pursuers are able to scream at such a pitch that it makes ears bleed and windows shatter. As the chase continues, there are quick shots of fish in their tanks exploding and turning the water red. The scene is a key to what's missing from the rest of Push, and what's wrong with most recent genre films: It lacks the courage to be weird. And so, Push's tale of a war between humans with telekinesis, and humans with extra-spatio-temporal clairvoyance, is a fairly dull superhero story. Director Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin) has a good sense of location, a colourful palette and assembles an appealing cast (Djimon Hounsou and Camilla Belle also get involved in the convoluted mythology). But he doesn't give them a movie to be in. Push is all flashy exposition. The more rules it lays down for its action universe and setup, the less one wants to play. (MP)


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