Posted by: Dr P | January 11, 2009


In the world of the recent future, a subset of humanity has developed special powers and abilities. These are divided into several categories. There are the obvious “pushers” who can push their thoughts into others minds, “bleeders” (they can scream at ear piercing volumes to make your head quite literally bleed), there are telekinetics who can move objects with the power of their mind (try saying that in voiceover man fashion), people who can view the future, and, I kid you not, “sniffers”, who can tell the history of an object or a person’s movements simply with the power of sniff.

I think my potential enjoyment of the film was slightly marred when the sniffers appeared. I did express a hope that they might couple this ability with touch, hence becoming “scratch ‘n’ sniffers”. Sadly no-one cottoned onto this, although it would have made for a much better film.

OK here’s the story (of sorts). Our hero (I can’t remember his name and I can’t be fussed looking it up) is a sort of weak telekinetic, with very undeveloped powers. One day a completely unknown teenage girl, played by a slightly mad Dakota Fanning, arrives at his door and tells him his destiny is to help *another* completely unknown girl (yes it’s already becoming annoying). Apparently the government have developed a wonderdrug which will greatly enhance these human powers, and obviously are trying to turn humans into weapons. Until now, attempts to inject people with the drug have resulted in death BUT girl #2 has apparently survived and is on the run with a sample of the drug. Clearly this drug – and indeed the girl – has enormous black market value.

If you’re already lost or bored, you’re not alone. I was accompanied to this film by my faithful sidekick, Big G, and he was asleep by this point. This was quite possibly one of the silliest films I’ve ever seen, and certainly the worst featuring anyone named after a two-tiered American state. Meanwhile I was wondering quite why Dakota Fanning has that name – if it’s something like Brooklyn Beckham, and she’s named after the place her parents conceived her, they could at least have made it comical. There’s a place in Dakota made famous in theatrical terms of course … just imagine if she’d been called Fargo Fanning. I’d already have enjoyed this film more.

I find the young Ms Fanning slightly annoying. She was an immensely talented child actress of course, hitting the big screen at the tender age of 6, but now she’s developed into a bit of a brat that I can’t stand. I call it the Kirsten Dunst effect – great child actress, annoying adolescent. Let’s just hope that Dakota makes better adult movie choices than “Wimbledon” Dunst.

Anyway back to the story. Our hero is also being pursued by a form of Hong Kong mafia whom he owes gambling money – these consist of a particulaly attractive future reader (are they called clairvoyants, or am I mistaking that with people who advertise in the Sunday Mirror and look like gypsies?) and two “bleeders” who can scream bloody murder. Literally.

There’s a cracking chase scene which involves the bleeders screaming and making large fish tanks explode, thus showering our heroes with slivers of glass – and slightly confused sardines. I’d like to say that at no point here does Dakota Fanning catch a dose of crabs. That would be quite wrong.

The problem with a “concept” film like this is that they seem to have come up with an idea about humans with varying psychic abilities – and then devised a story round that. It’s a bit like the 2nd and 3rd parts of the Matrix, where they introduced lots of ideas but completely forgot to make a coherent storyline and nothing got resolved other than Keanu continued to wear silly sunglasses and beat up Elrond. The other problem with this particular concept film was that it was utter bollocks.

Big G was still happily snoring throughout the twists and turns that happened right up until the unresolved end. I am not sure anyone cared.

This could possibly rival “The Day The Earth Stood Still” as the worst sci-fi film in recent memory, if not all time. I think the ending was left open so that the producers could pull off a sequel. Perhaps they could call it “Push again”. Maybe “Pull”. Possibly there could be a historical version called “Push past”. Maybe they could make a film about an inaminate item of clothing and call it “Push the button”?

However a smattering of good news is on the horizon. Studio execs have decided on a biopic of the 3 greatest composers of all time. However in a bid to spice it up, they’re making it into an action movie. Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone and Arnold SAchwarzenegger have already been cast, and I can exclusively reveal the casting meetings they held with the stars.

Studio Head: “Hey Bruce, we’re making an action romp about the 3 greatest composers of all time. Who would you like to play?”

Bruce: “Yippee kayay! I’d like to play Beethoven, the real tough nut”

Studio Head: “Hey Sly, how’s it kicking? We’ve got this big action movie that’s perfect for you. We’d like you to play one of the famous musical leads – how about it?”

Sly: “uhhh, yeah, that sounds great Adrian, tell you what, this could be the new Rocky, an underdog story, a young prodigy. I’d like to play Mozart”

Studio Head: “Governor Schwarzenegger! Good news. We’re hoping to revive your movie career. We’ve got this massive biopic of the three top composers, who are going to fight and have a huge rivalry. Sly and Bruce are already in and cast, and there’s a part left for you. Are you interested, and if so, who would you like to play?”

Arnie: *pause for effect* …. “I’ll be Bach”.


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