Film Review: Premium Rush

Film Review: Premium Rush

2012 action: Directed by David Koepp, starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, michael Shannon, and Dania Ramirez. [rated PG-13] Stars given: 3.5/5

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 Film Review: Premium Rush

Time is of the essence to deliver the plot in this action film.

There a plenty of jobs that people do, not for the money, but for the pure, personal fun of it. Some of those happen to be stupidly dangerous, such as crocodile wrangling or pre-K child care, where the risk is nowhere close to what the terribly low pay is worth. Bicycle courier is one of those jobs.

Set in the taxi-infested New York City, the film follows Wilee (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a bike courier who has no brakes, no gears, and no care in the world. He ends each day tired, sweaty, bruised, close to poor, and with an adrenaline -filled smile on his face.

One afternoon, he takes on one last ride, picking up an envelope that must arrive in Chinatown by 7 p.m. and absolutely no later than that. From the moment he picked up the envelope, the audience is taken through an insane ride through the streets of New York. We are joined by his on again/off again girlfriend, Vanessa (played by Dania Ramirez) his rival, Manny (played by Wole Parks ) and a cop that just won’t quit, Detective Bobby Monday (played by Michael Shannon)

“Premium Rush” takes its plot forwards and backwards in time, showing events from multiple perspectives that often overlap, making sure each event is properly flushed out. While this is a novel way to fill the audience in on some of the backstory, it can become tedious.

Without giving away too much, one of the first things that will strike the audience is Shannon’s performance as Detective Monday. His performance is very memorable and not in a good way. The squeaking way he stresses his voice to make it break is supposed to be comical (at least, that is my theory), but only comes across as incredibly annoying.

Much like the flashy moves from the “Step Up” film franchise— while boasted brilliant dance moves and just recently did a film with the flash mobs dancing in 3D —  “Premium Rush” relied on the impressive, hard-to-do moves that combined Parkour with BMX tricks to bring in the crowd. But if you are going for that reason alone, you will be disappointed.

Other than some impressive weaving between cars and a few gates jumped, it takes the film over an hour to actually show off what everyone wants to see: a crazy guy on a bike riding up and down on cars or jumping backwards off a second-level tower.

With a solid, consistent plot and reasonable characters, “Premium Rush” earns a 3.5 out of 5 paws. It was pretty refreshing to see something as unusual as bike courier as the plot of an action film.

Fun fact: Gordon-Levitt  did a good portion of his own stunts, which included sending himself through the back window of a real cab. The footage of the aftermath is shown right after the credits run the actors names.

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