When it comes to demographic appeal, the common stereotype is that men prefer the action movies with high speed car chases, Michael Bay-esque special effects, and a hot female love interest. Premium Rush has all the above, but with a cement-burning twist – the protagonist, Wilee (Joseph Gordon Levitt), doesn’t drive, he bikes.
Set in the traffic-congested streets of Manhattan, Premium Rush introduces a new breed of mail carriers, skilled bicycle messengers who are called on to make the urgent deliveries. Wilee is the sole purist of the group, riding a fixie – a single gear, light bike lacking brakes. What might seem like a death wish to some is the manifestation of his lust for adrenaline, the sole reason why he separated from his law-school peers and opted for biking as a living. His daily activity consists of getting requests by phone to deliver packages, a profession only held tenuous by the promise of a crisp glass of water and a paycheck at the end of the day. However, when Wilee receives his latest assignment, he discovers that this time, he’s not only racing against time, but also a menacing cop, Monday (Michael Shannon) – who will stop at nothing to take the package in Wilee’s possession.
To say that director David Koepp is recognized for his creative, high-octane action movies would be an understatement, at the least. The man is responsible for such films as Spider Man, Mission: Impossible, and Jurassic Park. Though Premium Rush isn’t quite on par with these films, the rudiments are in place: nifty animation effects detail GPS arrows twirling through the streets, serving as scenarios for every twist and turn Wilee makes, authentic stunt scenes performed by five different people (playing the same character, Wilee) bring out an unadulterated potency of the thrill of biking, and different camera vistas truly simulate the hustle-and-bustle of downtown New York.
The acting is pleasing as well, with its fair share of cheesy one-liners and sappy, emotional moments. Gordon, on a hot tear recently, plays his role to perfection: a kindred spirit to Evil Knievel with a healthy amount of brains and compact set of brawns. His girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), offers a healthy dose of eye candy along with her own cavalcade of impressive feats. Yet, the most impressive performance is delivered by Michael Shannon, who conveys the perfect balance of douchiness and wit while also unnerving the audience.
In total, Premium Rush is a fast-paced thrill, complete with all the components of summer action flick. I’d recommend all of you guys to see it, as it is guaranteed to be one of the most creative concepts you’ll have seen in a movie.
Playing at the in Laguna Niguel: 1 p.m. | 4 p.m. | 7 p.m. | 10 p.m.