In this hot and blockbuster heavy summer it’s nice to cap it off with a nice un-CGI-filled thrilling action flick like Premium Rush. The story is relatively simple: a dedicated bike messenger, Wilee played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is given the responsibility to carry a hot and wanted package from point A to point B. Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), a dirty cop who takes matters into his own hands, loses a few thousand dollars in a Chinese gambling game requires Wilee’s delivery. As the movie begins we don’t know what the significance of the contents of the envelop entails but by clever storytelling we eventually realize the emotional import behind it.
The strongest element about Premium Rush is its storytelling. It has a very Reservoir Dogs -esque technique of jumping to the inciting incidents to reveal the purpose of the plot rather than a traditional linear style. The editing superimposes Wilee’s different routes and shows what time it is (which is a relevant to the plot) to help the pace of the movie and feel of the movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on-point in his performance, as he always is. This is his first top-billed role, not being supportive like in Inception or The Dark Knight Rises or having to share the lead role like in (500) Days of Summer, so this a simple test for the studios to see if he can carry the lead by himself. The exceptions of this might be 50/50 and Hesher His next endeavor at the box office is Looper who he shares with the infamous Bruce Willis but after that he has to get those excellent stand-alone roles to establish himself as a credible long-lasting star. Michael Shannon’s dirty, unpredictable cop was infectious to watch. Truthfully, I thought that he was on acid the whole time. Other than these two performances the other actors weren’t too noteworthy or memorable.
As for the movie itself, it could have used a little work. The laughs were few, far between and not too witty. It lacked a certain character to serve as a driving force to be able to properly entertain an audience. The plot and action scenes (even if they were a little repetitive) were the only forces that drove it because it was easy to follow and was original enough to hold anyone’s attention.
Bottom line is that it’s a good enough movie to enjoy in an Air-Conditioned room with comfy chairs to escape the summer heat and rest before school starts. Premium Rush isn’t a game-changer in the film industry nor does it promise to be. It’s popcorn munching fun but nothing more or less than that.
Did you see it this weekend? Will you see it? If you did, then what did you think?