7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Worth the ride,
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This review is from: Premium Rush (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) (DVD)
Get ready for this rock 'em sock 'em roller coaster ride on two tires. This is the Joseph Gordon-Levitt outing as a bike messenger supreme. I loved this film.
There are a lot of neat elements. First time director David Koepp rivets us to our seats with the almost non-stop biking action on New York's savage streets. He did a kickass job on the action elements with some tight street level shots of the bikes in motion. It tracks, though. Unlike a lot of action films that get caught up in the action for its own sake. All the activity fits and furthers the story. Very nice use of the GPS as a tool for the messengers and also for shooting out a map for the audience to see and understand the context of the riding. Koepp has first rate screen writing credits including Jurassic Park, Spiderman and Panic Room.
So, what about the story. It involves JGL in the role of Wilee ( as in Wiley Coyote, beep beep) three time winner of the best bike messenger award. He used to do trick riding, but now confines himself to his fixed gear single speed bike with no brakes, a true wheelman.
His hot ex-gf, Vanessa, played by Dania Ramirez, also delivers the goods on two wheels. Their issue though is that Wilee quit law school to ride his bike while Dania is working on the bike to get a straight job and leave bike messengering. They have split up because he blew off her school program for a bike race.
The plot gets interesting quickly and mysteriously. Koepp here gets credit for his non-linear delivery. You have probably seen the trailer on TV which shows Wilee being chased on his bike and screaming into the phone about what was in that package.
Koepp fills us in with a number of flashbacks that work wonderfully for my money. They reminded me of Tarantino's use of them in Pulp Fiction.
A very clever cop with a gambling problem played by Michael Shannon provides the dark side of the story. He wants the message the Wilee has contracted to deliver. Wilee, of course, refuses to give it up. So, we have an establishment cop for a heavy pitted against a bike messenger who wants to play by the rules.
And the fun begins with the first of many chases.
It's fascinating that the whole bike messenger world is an outside-the-establishment scene. The writing is so good that you don't know if this is just good-guy vs bad-guy, or really an anti-establishment story. As authoritarianism has flourished in the last few years, the idea of authority figures being evil is a logical response.
Not incidentally, I loved the James Cameron TV series Dark Angel with Jessica Alba as a bike messenger. There is a slight reminiscence of that off the grid camaraderie here, too.
I always liked JGL in Third Rock From the Sun also on TV.
I recommend Premium Rush highly. It will definitely make you want to get out an ride your bike - just not through New York traffic.
They did a great job on the DVD, too!
The film crew hired a bunch of real bike messengers for some of the scenes. Also, JGL trained like an olympic athlete for his part. Nice scenes of them riding and also interviews with the main characters about their roles and preparation. I loved the film, reviews elsewhere and highly recommend the DVD.
The director had a really good idea and he executed it well.
BTW, I am a serious bike rider and this for my money the best biking movie ever.
Location: Chicago, IL USA
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