Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come out of nowhere and is quickly taking over Hollywood and landing in some great roles and fantastic movies: 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, and now Premium Rush. Premium Rush doesn’t reach the standards of those other few movies, but it is a hell of a lot better than I was thinking it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think it would suck, but I didn’t think it would be quite as fun as it was.
It’s not often that we see movies about people who ride bikes for a living. Actually, I can’t think of a single instance. The movie has some clichés and you have to ignore some gaps in logic, but the action and the thrill of the movie wash away all that, well not completely, but you get the point. Maybe it’s just me, but I really enjoy simple thrillers and coherent thrillers. The Wilee (Levitt) has to deliver an envelope while a dirty cop (Michael Shannon) is trying to get it. The cast is fleshed out by other messengers like Wilee’s maybe-girlfriend Vanessa and his rival Manny.
There is an intense and fun sequence where Wilee and Manny have race through New York. It wasn’t until after the movie ended that I realized I was watching a couple of guys have a bike race, which now seems almost silly. During the movie there are moments where it looks like MapQuest and a strip of color shows us where they are riding and going. One of the best parts are where Wilee has a moment to think about which way he should ride. He takes in 3 options and only one will not get him in a horrible car accident. I thought it was pretty genius, especially at the end.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic actor. I’ve heard some people say he’s terrible and I just don’t get it. his performance was one of the best parts and really anchored the movie into the everyman thing. Michael Shannon as the villain also is great. No, it’s not Oscar worthy, but he’s fantastic in almost a campy way. The movie has a few issues, but they are all easily overcome by the fun, the high-octave action, and solid script, thus landing it an 8/10.