This movie makes me want to get on a bike and play in traffic (in a good way). “Premium Rush” follows a New York City Bike messenger, Wile E.(Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who gets mixed up in a high stakes game of cat and mouse, after accepting what seemed to him, like a simple delivery. Before going into the movie I was expecting a combination of “Speed” and “Die Hard 3.” You know, a guy cannot stop biking because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. But instead, I got something completely different, and very enjoyable.
Wile E. (yes, like the coyote from the Looney Toons cartoons) rides and lives dangerously. His bike has one gear and no brakes. He likes to ride fast and make decisions even faster. Within just a few minutes of the movie, I was already loving his character and his live free attitude… until he is hit by a car. The movie then rewinds back 90 minutes to show us what happened leading up to where he lays on the pavement, struck by a cab.
Wile E.’s adventure begins with what he believes will be an easy delivery. Pick up an envelope at one location and bring it to another. But things quickly change as he is approached by a man looking to get that envelope back. Not taking no for an answer, that man (Michael Shannon) turns out to be a dirty cop. And, Detective Robert Monday will do anything to get that package and its contents.
The interactions between Gordon-Levitt and Shannon grow more and more intense throughout the movie. They begin almost comedic then grow into something much darker by the end of the film. In fact I loved all of the interactions Wile E. had with the rest of the characters in the film from his semi-girlfriend, to a rival bike messenger, and a NYCPD Bike Officer. It’s some of these interactions that breaks up the story and gives it an up and down flow, as well as some laughable moments.
Through the film we are brought back to different points of the day, to find out exactly what Wile E. is carrying, why it is worth so much, and why Detective Robert Monday wants it. A majority of the movie takes place on the streets of New York City. The bike scenes are great. “Premium Rush” also makes sure to dip into the visual effect, including some “Google Map” type views as well as integrating tilt-shift effects (which I am a huge fan of) and some great crash and rag doll mechanics used in some of the bike accidents.
While I don’t think it will be Number 1 at the box office, I think “Premium Rush” will get a cult following. If you are looking for a different type of action movie that doesn’t require pricey explosions and effects, “Premium Rush” is definitely worth checking out.
When I say I want to play in traffic, I don’t mean dangerously like Wile E. But this movie makes the world of Bike Messengers look so cool. So many hipsters and die hard cyclists that like the rush of weaving in and out of traffic. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that, but I’d sure like to hang out with them for a day and ride though the city late at night.
While “Premium Rush” was filmed back in 2010, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be back on the big big screen again later later this year, as he plays along side Bruce Willis in “Looper.”
OR, If you want to see a quirky video of JGL, check out this video of him singing with Zooey Deschanel.
I loved the movie as well. Action packed, keeping you drawn into the plot and characters the whole time. The only thing I couldn’t stand…were the women sitting next to me. They didn’t stop talking once. Giggling and gossiping like little school girls (and get this, they were all teachers!) which drove me crazy. Seriously?! If you want to chat it up, go out to dinner, or stay home. Don’t come to the movies to talk through the whole thing! UGH. I heard everything from how they thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt looked like Heath Ledger, to them laughing hysterically during serious parts of the movie. I’m glad teachers are so mature these days. I will definitely have to see this movie again, so I can hear everything I missed, or couldn’t pay attention to during. For all the ladies out there…I really think you’ll like this. I couldn’t believe how grown up JGL has gotten. He’s also a pretty good actor, so I can’t wait to see the new movie “Looper” he is in. Even tho it looks NOTHING like him. So weird. If you haven’t yet, check out that trailer in the link above.