PREMIUM RUSH (P13)
Release Date: 23 August 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Director: David Koepp
Screenplay: David Koepp, John Kamps
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung, Wole Parks
Plot Synopsis: Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors, and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day's work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York's agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie - super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and suicidal nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy who's used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when a routine delivery turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan. When Wilee picks up his last envelope of the day on a premium rush run, he discovers this package is different. This time, someone is actually trying to kill him.
REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP
Review: Premium Rush opens on a late August date with largely unrecognized castings (except for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jamie Chung) and a mysterious premise on the surface. Those three points are enough to make this smells like a generic “B-movie” puff for your tea break but it is also best not to judge by its cover too soon. David Koepp, a veteran screenwriter for popular movies like Spider-Man, Panic Room and Mission Impossible; is doing a script as well as directing too. If there is any actor that defies the term, it will be Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
David Koepp brings an exciting action thriller in New York City where bicycle messengers upheld a big task of delivering packages and messages on time while zig-zag through the busy streets and avenues. Wilee “Coyote” (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best bicycle messenger picks up the last delivery from Nima (Jamie Chung) on one hectic afternoon at the Columbia University. He has very limited time frame to deliver the envelope to the recipient at the end of the day – thus a premium rush. But what he is delivering is so dangerous that someone from the police department, a police officer Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) is willing to do anything to stop the delivery.
The only problem with Premium Rush is that it spends less time talking through the gun or fist, so citing it as a premium action flick will be less than a bull-eye. Standing in place, Koepp brilliantly replaces the standard with more bicycle-riding times on the road to offer an equally energetic and flourishing plot. The mysterious premise turns out to be a simple one as it involves a bit of smart intersections from multiple timelines to bring the audience attentions in regards the content of the package Wilee is delivering and the stories behind it. For the next 90 minutes, it does what it should be doing best by racing against the clock with the tight and continuous neck-to-neck car chasing bicycle thrill.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an admirable actor but the movie gives him nothing more than an interpretation of an agile and aggressive bicycle messenger, mixed with a little flare romantic relationship with fellow messenger Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), rivalry with Manny (Wole Parks) and confrontations with Bobby Monday. With arguably little character developments, Joseph handles it well within the tiny frames. Michael Shannon’s antagonist role looks fun, menace and morally questionable. His constant giggles of "heh" and "meh" makes him a watchable yet worthy opponent.
Despite having a plot that is stripped down to simple plain and overly coveted multiple timelines on motion; Premium Rush cuts out as a satisfying thriller that never forgets to have fun and focus on what it should be doing. This is how a "B-movie" can be this good.