The poster for Push is misleading. We see Chris Evans on an empty downtown street using his telekinetic powers to "push" a person, a sports car, a machine gun, and a fourth indistinct object up and out of his personal comfort zone. Agreed, after typing that out, the image doesn't sound so enticing in itself, but for someone who's decided to go and see the movie anyway, you'd at least expect to see the maximum amount of flying objects smashing & crashing for whatever silly reason the filmmakers saw fit.
Instead, writer David Bourla (director of those "____thumb" movies that people thought were funny... is that how you get a Hollywood gig these days!?!?) envisioned an action film with a sequence where a guy walks into a shootout with guns hovering by his side instead of gripped in his hands. I guess Bourla, and director Paul McGuigan, thought this would look "badass", or something... but it really doesn't. If you're getting flashbacks of last year's Rachel Bilson vehicle Jumper right now, you're not far off.
And in fact, Evans' character, Nick, isn't a "pusher" at all, he's a "mover". Reluctantly, Nick belongs to a paranormal Hong Kong underground of de facto rebels aiming to take down a black-op based U.S. government agency that wants to bottle their powers for military usage. (In the title sequence, we're told that the Nazis started this attempt at eugenics-style power grabbing back during WWII). Along with the "pushers" and "movers", there are also "sniffers", "watchers", "bleeders", "stitchers", "shifters", and "wipers".
Those slang-worthy and self-explanatory descriptors - along with a slim plot - sets Push up to be a passable teen fiction sci-fi flick, but McGuigan ends up by-passing the movie's one sustainable and entertaining idea (mind control as substitute for action-movie standard) and loses himself up a twisty-turny nonsensical plot. Push quickly becomes a film where your emotions and attentions fall out at midpoint only to give way to internal daydreams such as "Why did Djimon Hounsou's agent think this was a good idea?" and "Is this the last straw for Camilla Belle?".
For her part, Dakota Fanning does a fine job in the transitional role of Cassie, but there is something questionable about the way the filmmakers chose to photograph her in specific scenes. Coming off last year's Hounddog controversy perhaps I'm being ultra-sensitive here, but Fanning is costumed in a way-above-the-knees skirt that the camera seems just a bit too uncomfortably comfortable lingering upon. No, it doesn't reach a Larry Clark or Gus Van Zant level of creepiness, but it makes you wonder why an young actress, already gifted with expressive range, wasn't given more actorly respect. I guess I'll leave that question lingering alongside those other thought bubbles still floating in the theater.