Premium Rush Review
by Christian Becker
For anybody whose ever loved the thrill of riding a bike, even after the drivers license, these filmmakers heard your cries and prayers and made a movie “geared” toward you.
I’ve heard people express very mixed feelings on the trailer for this movie. Some people think it looks like an awesome chase film, and others just think it looks like a dumb waste of time and talent. I gave this movie the benefit of the doubt in thinking it would be a 90 minute thrill ride with non-stop fun. While it boasts the look and feel of a feature length chase scene, it seems to run out of energy way too quickly.
The story follows Joseph Gordon Levitt as Wilee. A New York City bike courier who has to deliver a small, but secret, envelope containing an item that a dirty cop, played by Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, is after. I like that the plot is small and the running time is short. This is the type of the movie where if you stretch it for all it’s worth, at the end of the day, you’ll end up with trash. Premium Rush is essentially just one gigantic chance scene. It never slows down and the plot is also moving at a quick pace. The problem lies with where it interested me. It was cool for the first 15 minutes watching these messenger bikers weave in and out of New York City traffic, and even throw in some impressive stunts. But once the novelty wears off, the bike chases become boring and repetitive to an upsetting degree. Director David Koepp does what he can to bring it all together and raise the energy level when needed the most. He and the filmmakers use really inventive little tricks to “spice” up the flick and give it flavor, and I really enjoyed watching them. But like any meal, the taste wears off.
No one will go in thinking to themselves “Gosh, I hope the performances blow me away. That’s only reason I’m going to this movie!” If that’s the mind set you plan on going in with, then just step back and do something else. This movie is about the bike chases, not the performances. Still, we should all expect the actors to give it their all and make the characters come to life in the best way that they can. Joseph Gordon Levitt is quickly climbing the ladder of being one of my favorite actors working today, and he is fulling committed in this role. Michael Shannon on the other hand, was a bit of a joke. I get it, he’s suppose to be this crazy villain who walks and talks like he’s in a bad 80’s movie. Even still, I just found him extremely over the top (in a bad way) and he reminded me of what a human would be like if he were impersonating a terribly written cartoon.
I did not hate this movie at all. I just felt for a movie that’s pretty much a 90 minute chase sequence, I should not have been this bored. There is only so much you can do on a bicycle before people start looking at their watches wondering when it will be over. If it sounds like only hate for this film is coming from this review, let it be known that I did have some fun with it. Some of the more fun scenes involve backtracking a characters day by a couple hours to see how they got to that point. Once you see it all come together, smiles are hard to resist. At the end of the day, it’s just a mixed bag. Some fun can be had, but I left a little disappointed not being as thrilled as I wanted to feel.