Premium Rush Movie Review
Our hero is Wilee (Gordon-Levitt), who gave up his law studies to become a daredevil courier who believes brakes are for sissies. So it doesn't seem too much to accept a job to carry an envelope for a friend (Chung) from one end of Manhattan to the other. But he's immediately accosted by frazzled cop Bobby (Shannon), who so desperately wants to get his hands on that envelope that we think his buggy eyes might explode. But Wilee is a clever biker determined to do his job, and as the cat-and-mouse chase travels down through the city, drawing in a tenacious bicycle cop (Tveit) and some nasty gangsters, Wilee gets help from his colleagues (Ramirez and Parks).
With such a simplistic plot and even more simplistic characters, the thing that keeps us gripped is the outrageous stunt work. Gordon-Levitt did most of his own cycling, and has scars to prove it (as shown in a clip during the final credits). The film is a riot of close-scrapes, big collisions and uncanny coincidences, photographed with hyperactive camera movements and added on-screen graphics. Structurally, the story also zips back and forth in time, filling in back-stories through extended flashbacks and stirring in a tepid love triangle.
It's as if the filmmakers thought that by keeping everything moving at mind-numbing speed we might not notice that the story makes no sense. Nagging questions include why Bobby doesn't just go to the destination to grab Wilee rather than indulging in so many silly Road Runner-style attempts to catch him.
As it goes along, the rampant misogynist machismo gets seriously annoying. But it's still a lot of fun.