Movie Review: Premium Rush (2012)
Movie Review: Premium Rush (2012) ◊
By Adam Mast ◊
There’s no doubt that Premium Rush is a silly movie. But, it’s a fun silly movie. The plot is generic and nothing more than an excuse to get to what the audience is really on hand to see—namely—the pulse pounding bicycling sequences.
In this simplistic thrill ride, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a Manhattan bicycle messenger. His current mission; deliver a special package into the heart of Chinatown. Hot on his trail is a creepy Michael Shannon—a short tempered nut job whose hell-bent on intercepting this most precious package.
I know what you’re asking; “What the hell is this package?!” Obviously, I’m not going to reveal that here, but allow me to reiterate; The package is virtually irrelevant. It’s simply the MacGuffin. A reason to get to the bike riding.
As a fearless messenger who lives to ride, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is lose and playful. He is the best when it comes to what he does. As expected, Michael Shannon chews scenery in a role that would have been positively stupid in the hands of a lesser actor. Premium Rush was written and directed by David Koepp. This veteran screenwriter has several noteworthy scripts to his credit (including Carlito’s Way, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull—yikes!), but on occasion, he likes to direct (see Stir of Echoes and Ghost Town).
With Premium Rush, Koepp has fashioned a movie that would be perfectly at home in the 80′s. With its cut to the chase attitude and somewhat cheesy and intrusive rock song heavy soundtrack, this film doesn’t always strike up the right balance of playfulness and dangerousness, but I was able to overlook the off balance nature of the film whenever the lead characters were tearing it up on their bicycles which, thankfully, is for a good 80% of the film’s brisk ninety minute running time. To call these sequences high energy would be a gross understatement.
This is exciting (and slick) stuff. There were moments when I was convinced that Gordon-Levitt and his messenger team were going to get hit by a car—particularly when these dumb-asses are heading into oncoming traffic! Koepp does an expert job staging the action and if there was any digital trickery at play, I certainly didn’t see it. In the case of Premium Rush, Koepp the director is more creative than Koepp the screenwriter. Look no further than a series of inventive moments when Gordon-Levitt—in an effort to escape certain death– must impulsively choose the best bicycle route in a matter of mere seconds.
Quite clearly, Premium Rush isn’t high art but as action movies go, I was left more exhilarated by this than I was by Total Recall.
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, and Anthony Chisholm
Released by Sony Pictures
Rated: PG-13 – for some violence, intense action sequences and language
Runtime: 91 minutes
Premium Rush: Official Trailer
SOURCE: zboneman.com (Originally published at zboneman.com and reprinted by permission.)