REVIEW: PREMIUM RUSH
SYNOPSIS: Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a dayís 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 Ė super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy whoís used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when his last envelope of the day Ė a routine ďpremium rushĒ run Ė turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan.
Hey! That envelope you picked up, I gotta ask for it back.
Wilee: Yeah, the thing is, once it goes in the bag, it's gotta stay in the bag.
Bobby: [threateningly] It's in your best interest to give me the envelope.
And the chase begins. When dealing with the overwhelmingly busy streets of Manhattan, the fastest way to get something from point A to point B is most probably via a bicycle. More times than not they are moving faster than vehicles and the riders are probably gutsier than the infamous NYC cab drivers. Now that we have the foundation, you can see how this would be a good subject to make a movie out of. And the movie makers succeeded. This film does a great job of capturing the essence of bike couriers in NYC and incorporating it into a decent story. Premium Rush is an adrenaline rush. Priscilla says that you wonít unclench your butt cheeks during the whole film. The movie fittingly moves at a good pace, the job being performed is exhilarating, the thrills are a plenty, and we are situated in the city with the most hustle and bustle in the U.S. The cinematography would have to be excellent in order for this concept to work and it is. Itís just as sporty and fast as the movie itself and it puts you right in the thick of it. There is the use of a zoom out and zoom in GPS type feature that was pretty cool. There were also some cool think quick best path decision making moments where Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) would predict the outcome of certain paths and chose the safest one as he weaves through traffic, pedestrians, and you name it. Of course the decision making process would take maybe a second which is about all the time you have at the speeds these bikers are going and all the obstacles they are evading. As you would expect, the bike riding skills and tricks throughout the movie are pretty cool too. Not that Iím counting, but thatís the third time I use the word cool so, yeah, the movie is cool and fun.
Joseph has been busy lately; rightfully so because he is good at his craft. The fact that he plays the leading role in this one really makes the movie worthwhile. I donít know if youíve heard but he did actually wreck into a cab during filming and got a little busted up. Now thatís dedication I tell ya. His characterís name is Wilee. Not sure if thatís his real name or a nickname but regardless there is reference to Wile E. Coyote in the movie because of it. The ironic thing about that is in this case he is the hunted not the hunter. Another performance that stands out in this film is that of Michael Shannon who plays Bobby Monday, the antagonist. Now this movie does have an element of cheesiness as you can imagine, and a plot thatís far from extraordinary, so when you see Michaelís performance itís hard to say if it adds value or degrades. Priscilla commented that he was over-acting to a point of creepiness. In a movie like this it could be good or bad, so Iíll let you decide on that one and trust me, you will know what we mean when you see it. Writer/Director David Koeppís work speaks for itself having directed some pretty good movies and written for a whole lot of great movies too. Though not his best, it does stay on par with his work. If you are afraid to consider this one at the box office, donít worry, itís a little cheesy but not as much as it might seem in its promotion.
By Cine Marcos
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