Premium Rush (2012)

Action, Crime, Thriller
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Sean Kennedy
In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.
It's built out of familiar parts, but no matter how formulaic Premium Rush's storyline might seem, it's elevated by high-octane action and enjoyable performances.
  • Columbia Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 24 Aug 2012 Released:
  • 21 Dec 2012 DVD Release:
  • $20.3M Box office:

Trailer:

Scenery is on the menu, and Michael Shannon has a voracious appetite!7/10
I'll be honest – when I first saw the trailer for Premium Rush I was a bit skeptical. I scoffed at the idea of a thriller built around the premise of a bike messenger delivering an important envelope on time. But you know what? This is one of those rare late summer releases that comes out of nowhere and entertains you way more than you could have expected.

There's no pretense here. No delusions of grandeur. No misguided Academy aspirations. Premium Rush is a film that recognizes the boundaries of its skin and is completely comfortable in it. It's simply a fun, fast, and intense 90-minute ride that's equal parts tension and comic relief.

Rather than potentially spoil any of the details, I'll let you watch the finer points of the plot unravel on screen. Multiple back-stories are told via time flashbacks, so some of the events might get lost in the translation if you're not paying close attention. What you need to know is that the essence of the film rests in following Joseph Gordon-Levitt's bike journey through the streets of Manhattan as he attempts to deliver his envelope with a scene-stealing Michael Shannon and an I-take-my-job-way-too-seriously bike cop hot on his tail.

You'll recoil and cringe as JGL weaves in and out of traffic, avoiding vehicles and pedestrians alike. You'll laugh as the aforementioned bike cop continually regroups and continues his quest. And you'll love to hate Mr. Shannon as he deftly demonstrates his character's impulse control issues.

I've always heard people say how good of an actor Michael Shannon is, but I've never really seen him in anything. I will definitely seek out more of his work after enjoying his performance in Premium Rush. His hypocritical diatribe on how disgusted he is by the lowering of today's standards had me laughing several minutes after he delivered it. I loved this guy!

I also enjoyed what I am branding the "alternate scenario cam" – whenever JGL finds himself in a tight situation, the camera shows him quickly calculating his possible routes and their potential outcomes, many of which end in hilarity and disaster for either Mr. Gordon-Levitt or an unsuspecting pedestrian.

Premium Rush keeps the pace tight and the audience engaged. The camera work forces us right in the middle of the traffic and the blaring car horns, allowing us to experience the tension both visibly and audibly.

The film's main drawback is its abundance of profanity and crass talk. The worst offenders are one f-bomb and more than 10 uses of G-d**n.

Premium Rush never takes itself too seriously, and neither should you. As long as you check your expectations at the theater door then I'm confident the majority of you will find that this film – much like its bike messenger protagonist- delivers.
A Cycling Riproaring Ride8/10
It's not a 10 star film but it is a fun ride with action that makes up for a few flaws in plot and the flow of storyline. The best issue in this film is almost constant action and wild biking through the New York streets. One of the elements that were new to the screen and highly workable were the sudden stop of action to follow the split-second decision making of a messenger/biker. Choices (usualy three) that have to be made in the moment. The bad guy in the film is nasty and very believable. So, if you're looking for a thrill ride and a fun film then go see it. Enjoy the earthy feel of the cameras that capture the life of a messenger on two wheels competing with trucks, cabs, and cops.
Life in the Bike Lane8/10
An action movie about biking through the streets of Manhattan is certainly an interesting idea, and may seem a bit silly, but writer and director David Koepp manages to create a fun and exhilarating film around this premise. Premium Rush is the type of movie that gets better as it goes on, expanding on its characters and creating riveting and never tiresome chase scenes.

The story is a little over the top, but that hardly matters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, a bike messenger who loves to ride through the streets of New York like a maniac, with no gears and no brakes. He has a girlfriend who also works for the same company, although on this particular day she is mad at him for not showing up to her college graduation. Near the end of the day, Wilee gets a package from his girl's roommate. This package is of some special importance because a dirty cop, played with exquisite menace and insanity by Michael Shannon, wants the package in order to pay off his immense gambling debt. So of course a chase across the city ensues throughout the remainder of the day.

One of the major benefits of this movie is that it is not told in strict chronological order. The first scene shows Wilee crashing and flying through the air, only for us to travel back in time to earlier that day. Once we meet Michael Shannon's character and have a nice chase, the movie again backs up for a bit, revealing what the dirty cop was doing earlier that day. This helps the movie to avoid being simple and tired. In fact, the movie has an energy that is on par with its bike riding characters, who seem to hardly ever tire of pedaling.

Koepp directs the movie with a flare for Manhattan, where the entire movie was shot. The film makes a big deal about life in the city, while minimizing the gaudier aspects of filming in the big apple. There is no sweeping shots of Time Square or the Empire State Building, and we don't even get a wide shot of the city until the very end. Instead, Koepp immerses us in the town, and by extension the characters that know it so well. At times the script falls into the realm of cheesiness, especially when it comes to some of the one liners, and the all encompassing pride that Wilee has in his work.

Premium Rush is an exiting action movie, and the best one out about bike riding. Michael Shannon's fantastic performance and the on location shooting make this movie an energetic and awesome ride.

thatguythatlikesmovies.blogspot.com
a sub-par action film with poor dialog, average acting, and lackluster stunts4/10
On paper and from a financial standpoint, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that Premium Rush was made. It is a high speed action film about bike messengers delivering packages set in New York. Not saying that there is no potential for entertainment there, but it seems like it would be down the list for green-lighting compared to fighting robots and action heroes blowing half a city up. But somehow, Premium Rush was given the go-ahead, landed some quality names in Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon, and the film hit theaters. Unfortunately, the thriller ended up being nothing more than a middle of the road action film that is easily forgettable.

Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee, an energetic bike messenger that lives by the simple rules of riding like hell, only using a fixed gear/steel framed bike, and never using brakes. One afternoon he is sent to deliver an envelope by his girlfriend's roommate, Nima, but finds himself in a fight with a crooked cop (Shannon) who wants the delivery. Turns out, the envelope holds a receipt for a great deal of money that Nima trusted Wilee to deliver. It also turns out that the crooked cop is in a good deal of trouble with gambling debt and plans on stealing the receipt to pay off his problems.

So the plot is nothing great; need to make a delivery, crooked cop chasing you, can't trust the police. But what does the film have to offer? Well, Gordon-Levitt and Shannon both play their characters well, but there is not much too it. The characters are pretty one dimensional and seem more like a payday gig than a role someone really wants to take up. Perhaps they seem like better actors because Jamie Chung who plays Nima is so bad. Every line that roles out of her mouth is forced and she seems extremely uncomfortable on camera. Not only was this extremely distracting, it made everyone around her worse, specifically one scene in a bathroom between Nima and Wilee's girlfriend, Vanessa. Maybe Dania Ramirez is pretty poor throughout the film, but her scenes with Jamie Chung are particularly brutal.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/premium-rush/
Quite a good little action flick8/10
Now this is how to make an action flick! A small one, mind you, but it's one of the most fun pictures to come out this summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a bicycle messenger in Manhattan who lands the unfortunate job of delivering a small slip of paper worth a ton of money. Corrupt cop Michael Shannon, trying to pay off a Chinatown gambling debt, gets wind of the item and attempts to relieve JGL of it. Unfortunately for Shannon, JGL is a pretty darn fast rider and great with stunts, and soon he has the help of his girlfriend (Dania Ramirez), who is also a bicycle messenger. It's just a simple chase movie, but it's perfectly edited and paced, with well-timed jumps back in time to explain the situation. The actors are all fine (I also really liked JGL's professional and romantic rival, Wole Parks), but Shannon really steals the show. This is the perfect place for his style of menace. Well worth your time.