Review: Premium Rush

An enjoyable fast-paced ride through the streets of New York!

A bicycle courier in New York finds himself hounded by a crooked cop for the package he is delivering.

Simple as that! Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee in this film that makes reference to the cartoon character that name is synonymous with while at times feels like a living, real-world Road Runner cartoon. It is a smart, inoffensive little film to while away ninety minutes.
I live in the UK and had no idea that cyclists actually do this in New York. Courier services enlist cyclists to traverse the roaring, sleepless and rage-infused streets of the metropolis, and Wilee is one of the crazier ones. Riding a single-gear bicycle with no brakes, he slices his way through traffic liberally and without hesitation. His carefree nature is challenged when a cop approaches him demanding the package he is carrying. Michael Shannon plays Bobby Monday and positively chews up the scenery as a cop with a gambling problem and anger management issues, hellbent on catching this kid on a bike.

What follows is a manic chase through the fast-paced traffic of NYC, a clash of couriers and cops, and a lot of near-misses that sometimes do make you hold your breath. I think if you are a bike enthusiast and rider, you will get one hell of a kick out of it.

It is a well paced movie, it starts out like some stream-lined commercial; very crisp very bright, Gordon-Levitt’s charismatic tones working in narration as graphics overlay on the screen, seeing his character’s inner thought processes and lightning reflexes at work.
The film kicks into gear when Michael Shannon hunts him down, bickering and roaring to himself as Wilee escapes him time and time again, like an angry bear in a suit. Honestly, Shannon’s performance is a little bizarre, although I bet he is having fun with it and any darker a performance would have dented the film’s brighter nature. Although he does nearly curb-stomp a guy…

My favourite part of this film is a bicycle cop with something to prove, who winds up involved in the chase for seemingly personal reasons. The guy gets multiple chances to give chase, but Wilee evades him, often resulting in some painful pratfalls!

It is a fun film, it will leave you feeling good and optimistic. It isn’t life-changing or life-affirming, or particularly memorable; the writing isn’t as witty as maybe it could be, but the chases are exciting and the characters are likable. If you have a lazy day planned, this isn’t a bad way to spend ninety minutes.



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