The opening scene of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s new movie, “Premium Rush,” is of him slowly flying through the air and landing with a crash on the pavement. What follows is a 90-minute thrill ride that is not the best ride I’ve been on, but certainly not the worst.
JGL’s main character, Wilee, is an adrenaline junkie who gets his rush as a bike messenger, maneuvering his way through the insane traffic that can only be found on the streets of New York City. In Wilee’s own words, “I like to ride. Fixed gear. No brakes. Can’t stop. Don’t want to.” The job is simple enough, if not crazy dangerous; until Wilee picks up an envelope to deliver that turns an innocent bike ride into a life-or-death roller coaster. Seems a dirty cop (Michael Shannon, most recently of “Boardwalk Empire”) wants what is inside that envelope, and is desperate enough to do anything to get it. Cue the chase scenes, crashes, and a level of violence that’s enough to keep your heart pumping.
Now, the plot is moderately intriguing; but I wasn’t sure how they would carry a movie about, well, bike messengers, for very long. Not surprisingly, I felt it could have been about ten minutes shorter. I did, however, enjoy the movie overall. JGL is charming, as ever, and I liked Dania Ramirez (“Entourage”) as his coworker/girlfriend. It’s definitely no “Inception”, but it is a thrilling and funny flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Not an awful choice for an interim movie between July’s “Dark Knight Rises” and September’s “Looper”, both definite and sure-to-be blockbusters.
Overall, I’d say “Premium Rush” is worth seeing. It won’t blow your mind, but it will definitely entertain and give you a few chuckles.