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Wilee is one of 1,500 bike couriers in Manhattan who rides on the edge by having a bike with no brakes. On this day, Wilee has a delivery that is so valuable that a corrupt NYC Detective, who needs the money, begins to chase Wilee throughout the city to get it before the envelope is delivered. Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
While filming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt rode his bike into a cab and smashed into the rear windshield, shattering it. He managed to block his face with his arms and needed 31 stitches on the right. Despite the large amount of blood streaming down his arm, he thought it was "f**king cool." He took responsibility saying, "No, but it was my fault, I was going too fast." Footage after the accident is shown in the end credits before the cast is listed. See more »
Outside the flower shop right after bike-riding cop tackles Manny, the practice skid marks from the stunt cyclist can be seen on the ground before Wilee skids to a halt. See more »
I can't work in an office. I don't like wearing suits. I like to ride. Fixed gear, steel frame, no brakes. The bike cannot coast. The pedals never stop turning. Can't stop. Don't want to either. There are 1,500 bike messengers on the streets of New York City. You can e-mail it, FedEx it, fax it, scan it, but when none of that shit works and this thing has to be at that place by this time, you need us.
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In the credits, footage of the aftermath of an actual bike accident Joseph Gordon-Levitt had on the streets of New York City during filming is shown, including Gordon-Levitt showing off his injury. See more »
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.
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