Premium Rush

Rated PG-13 91 min. 2012

The more movies I sit through, the more I believe that one of the most difficult acts to pull off in all of cinema is simply being entertaining. So even when you're stuck with a movie as inherently silly as David Koepp's Premium Rush, that its sole purpose is to be exciting is commendable on its own. The cleverest aspect of Koepp's film is that he's taken something innately cinematic, but completely untapped in film — New York City bike messengers darting through Manhattan traffic — and built an action crime thriller around it. Add a stronger cast than it deserves and it's that simple. The film carries a simple storyline — gussied up with flashbacks that intertwine with existing plotlines — but this is merely window dressing helping to make Premium Rush appear more convoluted than it truly is. Fundamentally, this is just a movie about a fearless bike courier named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who picks up an envelope that Detective Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), a crooked cop who's gambled away a lot of money playing — of all things — pai gow, will stop at nothing to get his hands on. Every other bit of action is built around this rudimentary premise, with detours into interpersonal relationships and the backstory behind what's in the envelope, but the bulk of the film is Wilee trying to escape on his bicycle. Luckily, the pace moves like lightning, as the movie — like Wilee's bike — rarely stops moving. In Premium Rush's favor is Gordon-Levitt, an actor with the innate charm to pull of this kind of junky nonsense. Plus, he's a got a great villain to play against in a scenery chewing Shannon, who finally gets out of his dour arthouse mode and gets to have fun. And that's true of this engaging little movie — it has fun. —Justin Souther

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: David Koepp

Writer: David Koepp and John Kamps

Producer: Gavin Polone

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Chung, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Aasif Mandvi, Aaron Tveit, Heather Lindell, Lauren Ashley Carter, Darlene Violette and Wayne Stephens


Premium Rush

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