Edit Bay Visit: Paul McGuigan’s Push

Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller Push revolves around a group of people with psychic abilities that are being hunted by a secret government organization known as The Division, which conducts inhumane experiments on them in order to make use of their powers for their own evil purposes. Although the film, which is based on an original screenplay, has been frequently compared to NBC’s hit show “Heroes,” director Paul McGuigan says he understands comparisons will happen, but admits he’s never watched one episode.

“I’ve never seen ‘Heroes’ in my life. I live in Scotland,” McGuigan laughed.

McGuigan invited ComingSoon.net to the editing bay where he was working at in North Hollywood to hang out with him for a couple of hours and watch a few clips of the movie. The affable Scottish director was incredibly cool to chat with and he stayed as long as we wanted to answer questions about his latest flick.

The film stars Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Bell and Djimon Hounsou. All of their characters have different psychic abilities, however according to McGuigan, they’re not so great.

“They’re kind of crap powers and that’s important because the film is a character piece as well as an action piece,” the director told us. “As they get emotionally involved their powers suddenly come to the front, but they’re still not that great. It’s not like they’re flying through the air or picking up cars and throwing them… I tried to keep it very much as gritty as I possibly could.”

Nick (Evans) is called a “mover” because he has the power to move things, but he’s not so good at perfecting his talents.

Cassie (Fanning) is a “watcher.” She can see into the future, but only snapshots and she draws what she sees.

“Bleeders” can make a high pitched noise which makes people bleed and it disables them and “sniffers” can pick up an object and see who has been in contact with the object. They can essentially track you down with their heightened sense of smell.

“Pushers” can affect your memory of an event that has happened or even an event that never took place. Alyssa (Bell) and Agent Carver (Hounsou) both have this ability; however they use it for very different reasons.

Carver runs The Division and injections of a drug are given to the ones with powers with the hope of enhancing their abilities so the government can then use their powers for whatever they want. However, no one has survived the experiment except for one girl named Alyssa English (Bell), but she escaped from confinement and took something with her that could potentially bring down the organization.

Carver is on a mission to get her back and will stop at nothing. Cassie’s mom, who is also a “watcher,” was taken to The Division as well, but told her daughter to find Nick, who is the key to saving them all.

After McGuigan told us a little about the storyline, he showed us a few select clips of the movie.

Scene One: Dakota Fanning opens the film explaining how the government was conducting experiments in psychic warfare which started in 1945. Quick flashes of news footage talking about these experiments race across the screen as you hear Fanning’s voice. When you see her, Fanning has long blond hair with a pink streak which adds to her character’s rebel teen persona.

She speaks with a calm, unemotional tone while telling the audience who she is.

“Other governments around the world started what they call Division. Time to do what the Nazis couldn’t—turn us into weapons. Division agents are trained to track and hunt us down like animals—take us away from our families and friends. There are children stuffed away all over the world. They test us. They categorize us. I’m what you call a watcher. We can see the future… We keep dying. No one has ever survived the drug meant to boost our powers… Division took my mom from me. Right now the future for us doesn’t look so great. The good news is the future is always changing.”

The director told us he liked the rough cut images of the first scene because not only does it make the exposition more interesting, but it also gives it a sinister darker edge that sets the tone for the movie.

Scene Two: The Division hunters have found Nick at a small dingy apartment in Hong Kong. The “sniffers” tracked him down by an old toothbrush of his. They question Nick about Alyssa escaping from Division but he doesn’t seem phased or surprised by their visit. He tells the hunters he has no idea who the girl is which is true at this point of the movie. We see a flashback during this moment of Nick when he was a little boy. He’s with his father who was genetically altered to be an assassin has been murdered by The Division.

The hunters leave telling him not to run because they’ll find him. He runs to the door after now appearing to be nervous and he hears someone knocking. He pulls out a gun and a young girl’s voice tells him to put the gun down and to open the door. He apprehensively does so and Cassie walks in as if she knows him. “Put that thing away,” she tells him as she walks in and goes to the refrigerator and looks for the piece of chicken she envisioned. Nick is completely confused as to who she is and what she wants. “I’m here to help you,” she says.

However, it’s really Cassie who needs his help, but he doesn’t believe he’s really the one who can save them and refuses to do anything about what’s happening in the beginning because of what took place with his family when he was a kid.

Scene Three: Alyssa has escaped from The Division and she’s the only one who has survived the injection meant to enhance her powers. They find her on the streets of Hong Kong and two agents drag her into a coffee shop. One of them pushes her into the restroom and he waits outside the stall for her. She begins to manipulate him with her memory pushing power. She tells the man who just captured her that he’s a good man and he must have a hard time dealing with the murder of his brother. He never had a brother, but starts to believe he did. She convinces him the other agent he’s with is responsible for killing his brother. He’s overcome by anger and revenge. He storms out of the restroom and shoots his partner in the back of the head in front of everyone inside the shop. He races back to the restroom, pulls Alyssa out of a stall and begins to beat her. She fights back and it’s a full on brawl. After he punches her a few times, she kicks him in the groin, he falls and she hits him with a trashcan. She runs out, but not before kicking the agent while he’s down.

Scene Four: Cassie and Nick are in a cab. You can start to see the brother / sister relationship they’re starting to have and Cassie tells Nick he needs to work on enhancing him powers while he tells her not to bite her nails. She has pictures of the future she drew and in them they die. Nick tells her that’s not part of his plan and he won’t let that happen.

Scene Five: Cassie has been separated from Nick. We’re not sure why since we didn’t see that scene, but she finds him and he’s been injured by a “bleeder.” She walks in with a gun already knowing someone is there. A woman comes out and said her mother sent her to the fish market on this day and time and it’s then Cassie realizes she’s a “stitcher” who is there to heal Nick.

We also watched a scene towards the end of the movie where there’s a great fight scene between Nick and Carver. It looks like there could be something more between Evans and Bell’s characters and Nick confronts the agent on the murder of his father as well and the horrible things he’s done to others.

We’ll stop there because we don’t want to give too much away, but you can check out Push when it hit theaters on February 6th.

Source: Heather Newgen