Though we are mostly familiar with Chris Evans’ amazing portrayal of Captain America in the MCU, it’s worth noting that he’s taken on other superhero roles. We’re not here to talk about Johnny Storm from the Fantastic Four films, however, but rather 2009’s Push — currently streaming on Max — which he stars in alongside Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, and Djimon Hounsou.
Push was a moderate commercial success that was critically panned, but still boasts impressive cinematography that’s worth a look if you’ve slept on this film.
Push, starring Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning, is streaming on Max.
Push is a film about psychic abilities and the government’s desire to weaponize those who have them. Chris Evans takes on the lead role as Nick Gant, whose father was murdered by a government agency called Division when he was a child. Afterward, Grant went into hiding in Hong Kong.
Though he’s been gifted with psychic powers, they are weak, and he only really uses them to gamble with unsuccessful results.
Meanwhile, the U.S. branch of Division is working on developing a drug that boosts psychic abilities, but most clinical trials are unsuccessful because they end up killing their subjects. Everything changes when a Pusher named Kira Hudson (Camilla Belle) adapts to the drug, steals a syringe, and escapes the facility where she’s being held.
It doesn’t take long for a teenage Watcher named Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning) to find Chris Evans’ Nick Grant, hoping for help in tracking down Kira.
Once the full story is established, we become more familiar with everybody’s powers.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave Chris Evans’ Push one and a half stars out of four, and his primary complaint was that the great cinematography and acting couldn’t save the movie from its own convoluted plot.
Chris Evan’s character is an untrained Mover who can influence the world without physical interaction. Kira Hudson is a high-level Pusher who has the ability to implant thoughts into other people’s minds. Cassie Holmes is a 13-year-old Watcher who is capable of seeing into the future, but she often becomes confused by her premonitions due to her lack of experience.
Push is a classic cat-and-mouse kind of story that has its protagonists on the run while also trying to use their powers to take down the Division that’s trying to exploit them. To complicate matters, Cassie’s visions suggest that their story will end with their deaths. But we’re talking about a superhero film starring Chris Evans, so it’s safe to say that the forces of good ultimately prevail.
With all the things that this Chris Evans film had going for it, it was only a moderate commercial success, pulling in $49 million at the box office against a budget of $38 million. Push fared pretty well with DVD and Blu-ray sales, adding another $20 million in revenue. Without knowing how much was spent on marketing, it’s not clear whether Push was profitable after all finances are considered.
Critically speaking, Push was lauded for its cinematography and special effects, but the consensus was that the storytelling was too confusing to follow. Because of the decision to lean into style over substance, critics were particularly brutal with their assessment of this Chris Evans film, which currently has a 24 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Just two years after Push’s release, Evans donned the Vibranium-metal alloy shield, and suited up as Captain America, a role that would be synonymous with his name for the next decade.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Chris Evans’ Push one and a half stars out of four, and his primary complaint was that the great cinematography and acting couldn’t save the movie from its own convoluted plot. But fans of the movie gave it high praise, expressing that they went into watching Push for its fantastical action sequences, of which there are plenty.
In other words, your enjoyment of Push really hinges on what you’re looking for in a superhero movie. You’ll enjoy the ride if you’re looking for action injected with supernatural elements and excellent choreography. But if you’re signing up for something more cohesive in the way of storytelling, then Push might come off as a disappointment.
But still, Chris Evans delivers a powerhouse performance in Push, and it’s clear that he was hard at work cutting his teeth to become an iconic superhero in his own right. Just two years after Push’s release, Evans donned the Vibranium-metal alloy shield, and suited up as Captain America, a role that would be synonymous with his name for the next decade.
Though Push leaves a lot to be desired in the eyes of the critics, it’s clear that Evans knew the assignment, and one could reasonably assume that the MCU saw his potential before signing him on for a multi-film deal.
Push may not be for everybody, but at the end of the day, it still boasts a solid performance from Chris Evans, and is worth a look if you didn’t catch it upon its initial theatrical release.