Push is a movie about Nick (Chris Evans), a man who lives in perpetual fear of the US version of Division, a worldwide agency of major governments whose goal is to train psychic soldiers. To aid this, Division injects psychics with a drug to boost their abilities. Only one person, Kira (Camilla Belle), has been able to survive this drug, and she quickly escapes after taking the drug. Nick meets Cassie (Dakota Fanning), a snarky 13-year old who can see the future. Together, they track down Kira and a stolen syringe which contains the serum with the hope that finding it will help them bring down Division.The movie was poorly received at the box office and by critics, getting a paltry 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It made a little over $31 million, not counting overseas and DVD sales, so a sequel is unlikely given that it had an estimated budget of $38 million. There was a television series in development being written by David Hayter, but the lack of recent news means it has likely fallen into Development Hell.For the 1996 novel of the same name that was made into the 2009 movie Precious, click here.
This movie provides examples of:
Anti-Hero: The morally bankrupt type. Our introduction to Nick is him trying to cheat at dice. And failing.
Artistic License - Biology: The movie has the lead character inject soy sauce directly in to his blood stream with no side effect at all.
Badass: The fact is, Victor was simply destroying everything, and if Division already has him on their team, it does not look like they even need the drug. Of course, if they made him even more super...well, then it just stops being fair. Nick also has his moments, though, and was giving Victor a run for his money near the end.
Badass Family: The Chinese Triad we meet features a family of two make that three Bleeders and a skilled Watcher.
The Chessmaster: Both Cassie and the Pop Girl are constantly trying to prove that they're the best chessmaster in the film. Little do they know that they're really just fighting for second place. The real chessmaster is Cassie's mom. See Gambit Roulette below.
Nick becomes one mid-movie, as he was the one who came up with the idea of using notes and mind-wipes. He also wrote all the notes, not showing them to anyone until the right time.
Click Hello: Pop Girl clicks off the safety right behind Cassie near the end.
Competence Zone: Averted. The parents are all far more powerful and skilled at using their powers than the younger psychics.
Covers Always Lie: You see the poster on this page, where Nick telekinetically sweeps through a whole street, throwing cars and such? Yeah, that never happens. Not even close.
Promotional images also seem to imply that a "push" involves telekinesis, when it actually revolves around implanting thoughts, movers being the ones capable of moving objects with their mind.
The entire movie was one gigantic one by Cassie's mother to get the serum into the hands of her daughter. Cassie jokes that her mom must've been planning this since before Cassie was born. Knowing that, she's probably right.
Nick's letters are a sub-gambit of this one, and they're all improvised without any Watcher foresight, especially the one of he and Kira at Coney Island at the end. This is justified by them having dated for quite some time, and by having someone who can see the future on their side.
Maybe the Division should have only used people whose abilities could actually be restrained for those lab experiments. A super-powerful Shifter or Watcher doesn't sound all that dangerous or difficult to imprison compared to someone with the power of Mind Control. The most powerful Watcher in the story spends the entire story off-screen in their possession (possibly due to her own plan, but still imprisoned).
Instant Expert: Nick has been a Mover all his life, and he sucks at it at the beginning, barely able to roll some dice. Once it becomes plot important, he suddenly get great at it. It is implied, though, that he had a lot of raw talent, and he just needed more practice or motivation. He's usually surprised when he does something fairly powerful, and he almost always does so after seeing someone else do them (such as Victor and his bullet shields and telekinetic-enhanced punches). He's also consistently a lot better at the big, uncontrolled stuff (i.e., brute force) than he is at the little, fiddly (read: precision) things.
Karmic Death: Nick stays his hand and doesn't kill Victor, who is killed anyway three seconds later by a Bleeder.
Averted when Kira kills Carver in a fairly sadistic way.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Wipers can remove specific memories, which doubles as a way to throw off Watchers.
Lens Flare: Apparently the byproduct of two telekinetics punching each other.
MacGuffin Girl: Kira isn't the MacGuffinexactly, but she stole it, has it in her bloodstream, and is chased after by the villains as the only successful survivor of the super-psychic-serum.
Magic Skirt: Cassie. Necessary, because the character's all of 13.
Men Are the Expendable Gender: Despite the relatively high total bodycount, female character deaths number exactly zero. The two female villains 3 if you count Kira are menacingly threatening but they're stopped right before they cross the Moral Event Horizon so the audience won't be upset:
Stowe, the Stitcher tries to kill/interrogate Nick, only for Nick to pull a gun on her and tie her up in his apartment. In a deleted scene, Pop Girl kills her for her failure.
Pop Girl finally tracks down Cassie and pulls a gun on her but the Wiper sneaks up behind her and erases her mind.
Pushed!Kira spends the final battle running, fleeing and using her power to push mooks into dropping their guns or coming to her defense, never directly killing anyone unless Carver tells her to, and when she is freed from Carver's push, she kills him after reading Nick's note telling her to.
Mind Rape: Remember that brother you don't have? Well, now you remember every moment of growing up together, and that your best friend/fellow Sniff brutally killed him. And even after you realize it's a push and that you killed the Sniff in revenge for nothing, the memories will still be there clear as day.
Mutant Draft Board: Division hunts down psychics to perform Super Soldier experiments on, or to draft into voluntary service. Any psychic they don't directly control, or who refuses to be recruited, Division agents either kill them outright or threaten them to not use their powers, and they employ Sniffs to track down any who disobey this edict. Many psychics live abroad in Hong Kong to keep as far away from the Sniffs as possible.
Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Neither Djimon Hounsou (from Benin) nor Cliff Curtis (from New Zealand) even bothers to try to sound like Americans. Neil Jackson (England) drops in and out of it with the 2 or 3 lines he has. While Carver specifically says he's working for the U.S. Division near the end, their home countries are never specified so they could have been recruited before or after they became U.S. citizens or have picked up the accents elsewhere.
Shifters are Masters Of Illusion, allowing them to morph any object of their choice, though it seems the object does have to be of the same relative size of the object it's being shifted to, and it's temporary.
Stitchers have Healing Hands, albeit very painful, and capable of working in reverse.
Sniffers can see where any object has every been and who's used it. They get their name from how their ability works: literally by sniffing the object in a form of psychometry.
Watchers predict the future - or at least, the future that one intends to take. They can be countered by not knowing what you're going to do until right before you do it, and having your memories erased can stop them dead in their tracks.
Shadows can hide people by "shadowing" an object from them, allowing their subject to not be found. They are generally used to cancel out Sniffers. Extremely powerful ones can cancel out Watchers, though there's only one known occurrence of this.
Reed Richards Is Useless / Comes Great Responsibility: Inverted; in China, where Division has less of a hold, many psychics hold down occupations using their powers for profit (except the Shifter, who just carries a wallet full of money-shaped blank paper).
Scarily Competent Tracker: The Sniffs. They used a 10-year old toothbrush with a weak scent to track Nick across several countries before finding him in Hong Kong.
Screw Gun Safety: Some would say that if you're a telekinetic who's not very good at it, you would take extra care to make sure that the pistols you are levitating are not pointed at you when you work the slide.
Carver pushes a Sniffer into shooting himself because he convinces him that the gun isn't loaded. What's the first rule of gun safety? "The gun is always loaded. Even when it isn't."
Screw Destiny: Cassie is trying to prevent the future she sees. The villains love You Can't Fight Fate since their watchers foresee a future in which the heroes all die.
Slo Mo: A dramatic walk down a hallway. Verges on Narm.
Strong as They Need to Be: Nick kept a lid on his powers to evade detection by Division so he starts off a relatively unskilled Mover. Once he shook off the cobwebs, he began to develop more finesse; his encounters with the much-stronger and infinitely more Badass Victor seem to boost his competency via Awesomeness by Analysis to the point that in their final battle, he's enough of a match to overpower Victor to nearly beat him to death.