I Saw A Film Today… Premium Rush

I use to always seem to underestimate Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In truth, he is one of the most diverse and talented men working in Hollywood films today. Yet I constantly underestimate the guy when I see a trailer for the latest film. I seem to think to myself, “can he really pull off a role like that?” Yet he never seems to fail. I don’t underestimate the guy anymore. I was pretty excited going into Premium Rush, even if I was slightly worried if the story was going to be something we have all seen before.

Wilee (Levitt) is one of thousands of bike messengers who risk life and limb weaving between cabs in New York City. In an age when nearly all forms of communication can be accomplished using the Blackberry in your pocket, when you need something physically delivered across town, Wilee is your guy. He has a fixed gear, no brakes, steel frame, and will make sure your package arrives on time.

Things take a change for the weird though when while on a seemingly normal premium rush job when he is approached by a man demanding the envelope back. Turns out the man is a dirty cop with a gambling addition named Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon). When Wilee refuses to hand over the mysterious envelope, Monday goes on the offensive and begins chasing him in his car.

What started out as a simple run has now turned into the delivery from hell, and Wilee is stuck in the middle. And things only get weirder from here. Constant pursuit by a angry bike cop. Races through Central Park. Will he make his delivery or will he be delivered to the morgue?

Premium Rush, even with its recycled story, is one hell of a thrill ride. It is a nonstop biking romp through the crowded streets of New York. The story may be the recycled ordinary-man-forced-into-an-estraordinary-position story line, but its actual story telling is far from recycled. The best way I can think of describing it is the pacing of Shoot ‘Em Up (another action film worth looking at if you enjoy this film) and the mystery and story of Secret Window, one of Director David Koepp’s earlier films.

There are some faults. With a high-paced film such as this, plot holes are going to be something of a factor. And big ones they are. But the great thing is you don’t really realize them until exiting the theater and rushing to the bathroom. The film doesn’t allow you to ponder on them too long. It’s too busy entertaining you. No, the only real distracting thing from the movie is some of the CGI work. With a budget so small though this is forgivable.

While not his best performance by far, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a fantastic job per usual. I personally connected with his character, which I believe many from my generation who find an office job unsatisfactory may as well. As for most of the rest of the cast, they do a great job as well. It is always nice to see the little known underrated actor Aasif Mandvi in something. The real noteworthy performance here though comes from Mr. Michael Shannon, who lately seems to only strike gold when it comes to roles. Sure, he goes a little too far over the edge at times, especially at the beginning, but still another great performance from him.

Premium Rush is something of a rare film. It is a popcorn thriller, but it’s not a mindless one that warrants one watch and done.

Verdict: SEE IT!

*Rated PG-13 for violence, intense action sequences, and language. 92 minutes.


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