¨I like to ride. Fixed gear. No brakes. Can't stop. Don't want to, either.¨
I`m not a big fan of director, David Koepp`s work (Ghost Town, Secret Window), but I decided to give Premium Rush a chance considering Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon were staring in this film. Gordon-Levitt has had a great year with some interesting roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Looper, but here he doesn’t have a great script to work with. Michael Shannon on the other hand gave one of the best performances of 2011 in Take Shelter, a movie I really loved; but here I was really disappointed with his work. I didn’t like the way he portrayed his character as a corrupt cop one bit. The film has a lot of action and interesting bike scenes, but it never feels like it is taking itself too seriously. I don’t mind when film do this, but it wasn’t very funny either so it didn’t work in any level for me. I really was hoping Premium Rush would be a better movie, but Koepp has disappointed me once again. I give this film a 5 out of 10 because I thought some of the bicycle scenes were pretty exciting and Levitt still manages to be likeable. If you haven’t seen his other films this year then go see them instead of this one. I really can’t recommend this film to anyone. I thought it was just another forgettable light action flick, which is too bad because the trailer did make it look interesting.
Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a bike messenger in the dangerous streets of Manhattan. He has a sort of no fear mentality and rides his bike without breaks, taking his job seriously. He will do what it takes to deliver his packages on time, even if it means he has to put his life (or others) in danger. What begins like an ordinary day for Wilee when he`s asked to deliver a simple envelope ends up being a nightmare for him. A corrupt police detective named Bobby (Michael Shannon) wants to intercept the envelope before Wilee can make the delivery and thus follows him across the city. Wilee realizes that he`s not holding an ordinary package and decides to return it to the sender before he gets into more trouble. The sender happens to be Nima (Jamie Chung), Vanessa`s (Dania Ramirez) roommate, and Vanessa happens to be Wilee`s girlfriend. When Nima tells him how important it is that the envelope be delivered on time Wilee realizes he has to help her, but the package has already been picked up by another bike messenger, Manny (Wole Parks). Thus the chase begins between Manny, Wilee, and Bobby across the heavily transited streets of NY.
The film has some fun action scenes as we see these experienced cyclists chasing each other across the city at high speeds, but the characters are really poorly developed and everything seems to be taken so lightly. The movie has some crazy editing going on as well as Wilee deliberates as to which direction he should take and we see the possible outcomes before he actually decides. Premium Rush is also narrated in non-linear fashion as we go back and forth in time to explain certain events. I´m not a big fan of chase scenes, and this film is one gigantic chase scene so that may be one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy this movie as much. Cyclists might enjoy this film, but I found the script a bit cheesy and everything really over the top (like Michael Shannon`s performance). I couldn’t recommend this film.