No Brakes? No Problem...
Directed by: David Koepp
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez, Sean Kennedy, Aasif Mandiv and Christopher Place.
Not many movies have been centered around lead characters and bicycles. A handful at best, like Pee Wee Herman and Quick Silver, and let us not forget the very first production titled Bicycle Thieves, an Italian neorealism story about a man of low class status in a time where poverty was at a high mark.
Premium rush continues the tradition with a new take on the genre which takes place in New York centering on Wilee (Levitt) who is basically the best bike messenger in the Big Apple. He's suddenly given a package to deliver across the University to Chinatown. The only problem is that an NYPD cop Bobby Monday (Shannon) wants the contents of the package and chases Wilee all over the city to get is hands on it.
The good thing about Premium rush is that it doesn't take itself to seriously. When Levitt is being chased or riding his bike, it gets serious with some cool stunts but in-between, it makes fun of itself by using elements from movies like Next, as to avoid a deadly crash on the streets, the character sees different scenarios in his ahead for the best alternative route to continue is delivery. The chase between Wilee and Bobby can be seen like The Road Runner vs Wilee Coyote where the cyclist is always two wheels ahead of his adversary thus mocking him in the process. Jamie Chung plays her role as the mother in need that carries the plot with her obviously fabricated chinese accent. Other well performances and some quite stereotyped, badly.
While Joseph Gordon-Levitt tries to play the young athlete, the real credit goes to Michael Shannon. An NYPD cop in debt due to intense gambling in Chinatown and reduces himself to corrupt status to free himself from debt. If I may be sold bold, between Los Angeles and New York City, the law enforcement in the Big Apple takes the gold medal for having the most corrupt. I do mean in a cinematic level, but everything is based on real events nowadays.
The action takes place on bikes and you can see that this profession is quite serious. Never been a bike messenger or seen some in action but I can believe the intense competition, even though some are quite full of themselves and brash at work. Sometimes I think that when a profession is the focus in a movie, it gets a highly fictionalized approach just to entertain the audience. No doubt the lead had a stund double, but let's give credit to the editing team for blending well the cars with a green screen just to make the actor look good as his novice skills on two wheels take flight.
Overall, it's an enjoyable time cruncher kind of movie that would no doubt have died at the box office if it were released between the competitiveness of this year's summer. Good performances and decent humor, you can take a break from your college homework to take a stroll .
Written: by Bawnian©-Dexeus.