Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Film Review: Premium Rush (2012)

Premium Rush (Review)
United States/2012
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New York City bicycle messenger hired to deliver an envelop by 7:00 PM to a Sister Chen. However, Wilee is soon racing against the clock and riding to save his skin as a gambling, debt-burdened NYPD officer, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), aggressively pursues him for his own motives.

Premium Rush is nonlinear as it is not told in chronological order. The smooth editing and timecards help create a smooth ride, and this storytelling is beneficial to a story that would otherwise be too straightforward and somewhat repetitive. The story follows Wilee, along with some fellow bike riders, as they race to deliver the envelop. Officer Monday aggressively pursues with his vehicle, while manipulating the playing field in any other way possible. Between the beginning and end, the film is loaded with suspenseful chase scenes and daring, exciting stunts. The ending is underwhelming for what it builds up and a bit cliché, but it works well.

Other than the action, the film has some drama and humor elements. Some of the actions and dialogue are witty, especially scenes with Bobby Monday and a few with Wilee. However, there is also some "douchebaggery" as some characters' actions are annoying, one character speaks in the first person and refers to himself by name, and a few other annoying scenes. Fortunately, the film doesn't try hard to be a comedy, and works very well as a consistent action film.

The acting is great from the cast, although the story doesn't ask for much. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, despite a few annoying scenes, keeps the film together with his charisma and consistency. Michael Shannon is entertaining from beginning to end with an oddly humorous performance; he's a black hole, sucking up the shine from any other actors in his presence. The music works very well with the film. The editing is creative and keeps the film moving on all gears. A couple of the computer graphics could've used some fine tuning, but they're good enough.

Overall, Premium Rush is an entertaining action film moving at a ferocious pace towards the finish line; the finish line may be underwhelming, but the ride there is mostly great. I recommend purchasing for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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