Review: 'Premium Rush'
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Saturday, August 25, 2012
8/25/12 at 4:03 AM
"Premium Rush" gets interesting pretty quickly. Then it crashes nearly as fast.
The action thriller - revolving around a New York bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) trying to deliver a seemingly important envelope that a crooked NYPD cop wants to confiscate - is more action than thrill, and the same action at that.
We see bike chase after bike chase, with close-ups of wheels and calves and gears and pedals. My legs got tired just watching.
The thrill element is lost pretty early in the film, once we know the significance of the package. I guess the hope was that the revelation was intriguing enough to keep us on the edge of our seats wondering if the envelope would be delivered safely. It wasn't. Intriguing, that is.
With the movie's nonlinear format - taking us back and forth in time to piece together tidbits of the story - it seems filmmakers could have kept our interest a bit longer if they'd kept us wondering what we were watching get chased around all over Manhattan. Alas, they were too busy planning multiple cool maneuvers that Gordon-Levitt and his biker friends could make as they avoided pedestrians and weaved in and out of crazy New York traffic.
In terms of acting talent, Gordon-Levitt is always fun to watch. It's not his fault the majority of his lines revolve around how he thinks "brakes are death" and that he spends his days "running reds and killing peds." Plus, I thought "douchebag" fell off the popular insults list a couple of years ago.
It looks like screenwriter David Keopp's ("Jurassic Park," "Mission: Impossible") writing takes a hit when he's also taking on the role of director.
The most fun thing about this movie is Michael Shannon, who plays the role of Bobby Monday, a cop with a gambling problem that lands him in trouble with some people in Chinatown whom he owes money. To get out of this trouble, he's enlisted to confiscate that envelope before it reaches its destination.
Shannon's character, who we're told has impulse-control issues, brings the right amount of crazy to the screen to give this race-and-chase movie some comic relief.
This PG-13 "thriller" is probably best suited for teen cyclists who really do think that "brakes are death."
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez
Theaters: AMC Southroads 20, Cinemark Tulsa, Cinemark Broken Arrow, Starworld 20, Owasso
Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for some violence, intense action sequences and language)
Quality: (on a scale of zero to four stars)
Original Print Headline: Cycling thriller crashes fast with early reveal
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fun to watch in "Premium Rush." SARAH SHATZ/Columbia Pictures/Associated Press