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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Movie Review: Premium Rush

Bicycle messenger Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) spends his days zipping around the busy streets of New York City on a single-gear bike with no breaks, however when he is assigned to carry an envelope, the contents of which crooked cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) will do anything to get his hands on, Wilee has no choice but to "ride like hell."  Premium Rush is an action movie directed by David Koepp (Secret Window) and co-written by Koepp and John Kemps. 

Koepp has put out a movie that is every bit as exciting as its subject matter.  In Premium Rush a whole world of underground bike messengers is introduced.  The film is jam-packed with cool chase scenese and stunts that only add to the suspenseful and well-crafted storyline, which jumps around to different points throughout the single day it takes place in.  The story pieces itself together as new characters and elements are introduced along the way. 

Performance-wise this movie definitely satisfies.  Gordon-Levitt seems to continue to prove his acting chops with each new role and his performance as Wilee is no exception.  He plays a law school drop-out who prefers to risk his life weaving in and out of rush hour traffic over sitting at a desk all day, and he plays it well.  Gordon-Levitt also does his own stunts or at least most of them, which is also quite impressive.  In fact he had to get 31 stitches during the production when he smashed into the windshield of a taxi cab!  But aside from Gordon-Levitt's performance, I found Diana Ramirez, who plays Wilee's love interest Vanessa, to have a very realistic chemistry with the lead.  Also Shannon not only plays the part of a crooked cop quite well, but he is a very convincing cynical human being in general.  A great bad guy. 

Overall, Premium Rush is a consistently suspenseful and entertaining thrill-ride with a really great ending.  The film also has a slight sense of humor and the bicycle stunts add an element of fun to what could have been a movie that takes itself too seriously.  I have nothing negative to say about this one. 

8/10 Bicycles!

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