It was just about a year ago that Jumper was one of very few post-The X-Men films to put a spin on the idea of teleporters. It's a shame that the film failed to really deliver what it promised. Jumper introduced us to teleporters who were pursued by a covert agency, but it was all set up and no pay off, and not very enjoyable. When I saw a trailer for Push, I had flashbacks to that disappointing experience, but it's still a great concept, and there was no way this could be as bad as Jumper, right? It isn't. It turns out that Push is quite exhilarating and definitely enjoyable, though still not as good as it could have been.
Push creates a world where people are born with all sorts of different abilities, much like The X-Men. All of these abilities seem to be the result of genetic experiments by the Nazis during World War II, with the goal of enhancing and weaponizing these abilities. When the war ended, the experiments continued, but were broken up into government run operations called Division. They would track and capture anyone found with an ability that that showed promise for further experiments.
Yes, a very lofty set-up, and one that works well. It seems to be a bit more fully realized than the back story in Jumper. Push really seems to have taken the idea of The X-Men in a different, grittier direction. It could be described as a cross between the mutant reality of that superhero franchise and the tense immediacy of a series like Bourne franchise. That sounds like high praise, but while those two franchises seem to have strongly informed this potential franchise, the execution is not quite there.
As the story begins, we learn via voiceover about these special people, their various abilities, and the names attached to them. Many of them we don't get to meet, at least not this time around. This particular story centers on Nick (Chris Evans) and Cassie (Dakota Fanning). They are on their own in Hong Kong doing all they can to avoid Division, led by a man named Carver (Djimon Hounsou).
Further confusing the situation is the arrival of Kira (Camille Bell), a woman who can "push" thoughts into others minds. She is an escapee from Division custody and the only subject to survive the injection of a serum that is supposed to enhance innate abilities. There is also the small matter of a briefcase carrying a syringe of the serum. Oh yes, Cassie's mother is a captive of Division and she wants to get her back.