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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019
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Push an adrenaline rush
Push an adrenaline rush
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Push
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Call me a curmudgeon, but the sound of little Dakota Fanning screaming and whining in that awful Tom Cruise version of The War of The Worlds was more irritating than sympathy inspiring. In fact, up until a week ago, I would have probably gone out of my way to avoid anything she was in. This was before a gamine, more mature Fanning lit up the screen as a psychic warrior on the run from an evil government organization called The Division in the stylish thriller Push.

The action starts with a young boy running with his father from an unseen enemy, then hiding, terrified and wide-eyed, while his father is killed by a mysterious man (Djmon Hounsou, in a very different role from his Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond one). The same young boy grows up to be a scruffy young man (Chris Evans), still on the down-low, this time in Hong Kong, and his life of gambling, using a special gift of telekinesis with mixed results comes to a quick end when the "Division" comes after him again. Thus he finds himself running again, only this time, he runs into little Dakota, with multicolored hair (looking a lot like Neil Gaiman's character Delirium from the Sandman comics featuring Death and family), a "seer" who scribbles the future in the form of colored drawings in a notebook.

The two hoof it through the streets and alleys of Hong Kong, with Division guys in hot pursuit, and find out that scruffy guy's former gal pal (lovely Camilla Belle) is also wanted by these same baddies. Seems she's the only one who's survived a dose of some superdrug supposed to soup up psychic powers, and the Division wants to create an army of such folks. Sounds complicated, but if you've been able to follow the interwoven stories of such films as The X-Men, or the TV series Mutant X, this won't be that hard to follow. Basically all you need to know is that in a not-too-distant future those with psychic abilities are in demand by the government to be turned into weapons (somewhat similar to a rumored real program the real U.S. government had going called remote viewing"), and those with the abilities want nothing to do with this program. And there's a ninja-like Chinese organization of scary baddies who can scream people to death, and a lollipop-licking "seer" who matches talents with Fanning to try and get a missing syringe of the aforementioned drug before the Division retrieves it. Mostly, though, this is just plain fun to watch, with all kinds of action scenarios that should please fans of the genre. True, it won't win Oscars, but hey, watching two guys scream one of the bad guys into a bloody mess is so worth the price of a ticket, as is watching Dakota Fanning after she's downed a pint of liquor to be able to better access her "seer" abilities. I say if Gaiman's characters Death, Dream, and Delirium ever make it to a big screen, Fanning should definitely be considered.
 

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