In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.
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.
- Aug 25, 2012