Wonder Reviews
PushingTin **
Early Oscar Wish List 2003
Movie Quotes You Forgot Were Awesome
2002 Top Ten
2002 Oscar Wish List
2003 Oscar WIsh List
Movies That Suck
All Time Favorite Movies
Favorite Links
Contact Me
Current Reviews
Critic Mumbo Jumbo
People you Should Know
Cool List

Starring John Cusack, Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thorton
Directed by Mike Newell 

a boring character in his natural habitat

     John Cusack cannot find a reasonable excuse for making a trite film about extremely unlikable characters.  If he tells you, "It seemed like a good script," do not listen to the man.  He is lying.
     Pushing Tin boasts a great cast, but it proves moot when the script ends up being a roundabout romantic comedy about air traffic controllers. Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thorton, Angelina Jolie, and John Cusack all must have seemed something new and exciting in the script that somehow disappeared after shooting began, because it ends up being too close to just about everything else.  
     John Cusack singing over an airplanes radio to his astranged wife (Blanchett) is supposed to be a quirky testament to his love for her.  It's not.  There's nothing special here.  We've heard men sing to there wives to make up for being a bad husband before and the fact that Cusack's character is characterisitically self-absorbed enough to be endangering hundreds of lives (he sings while guiding the plane his wife is on to a landing) to make up with his wife isn't sweet.  Trust me.
     It would have played better if Nick (Cusack) hadn't been so unlikable during the movies entire duration.  He's a cocky and arrogant loser who comes undone when the quiet Billy Bob Thorton's Russell joins the air traffic control team and steals all his thunder a little too easily for his taste. 
     Then, because he's a jerk, Nick decides to act on temptation and cheat on his wife who hadn't done anything close to deserving it with Russell's hot young wife, Mary (Jolie).  That it didn't really mean anything to Nick doesn't really make it any better.
     Sometimes, an cocky, arrogant character can be a very effective protagonist (i.e. - Paul Newman in The Hustler, Tom Cruise in Top Gun).  Other times, as is the case with Pushing Tin, it doesn't work.  I couldn't like Nick.  So when his life began to unravel, I couldn't really feel sorry for him.  I was expected to have the stock response of happiness when Nick and his wife reconciled (oops...SPOILER).  Instead, I really didn't care what happened.
     Mike Newell is a capable director, as he showed with the excellent character piece Donnie Brasco, but he can't save the film from its faults.  The script is trite and hokey at times.  Add to the mix a band of characters that mean very little to the audience and you have a bad movie. 
     Yet, there are some unearned laughs that come at the expense of Nick.  I enjoyed seeing Russell utterally destroy him in just about every way.  It was a hoot.  When I say that's the only good quality in the movie, there's something wrong.

errors in grammar due to site builder limitations