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48
4.1 out of 5 stars
Premium Rush (DVD + UV Copy) [2012]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I am a fan of Joseph Gordon -Levitt, even back to `Third Rock from the Sun' because he got to act with the tremendous John Lithgow. Here he takes on the role of Wille (pronounced Wylie as in Wylie Coyote) who is a bicycle courier in New York City. He works for a negotiated price for each gig. He has an on and off sort of relationship with co worker Vanessa (Dania Ramirez - `American Reunion').

Well he gets asked to pick up a letter from the University for a mere thirty bucks and get it to a specific address within two hours. First thing that happens is a corrupt cop tries to get it from him, but Wille does a runner or rather heads off in the mad traffic being pursued by Detective Bobby Monday played with pantomime nastiness by Michael Shannon (of the really good `Take Shelter' and the not so really good `Pear Harbor'). Thus we are all set for a high octane chase through Manhattan and I must say the last time I saw this many `horns' getting blown was in a cheap porno.

This is a sit back and turn your brain off kind of flick. It is just a full throttle action fest based on bicycles and a few cars getting in the way and ineptly crashing into things. There are also issues around Chinese immigration and the troubles they encounter in order to get into a country - even legally and the culture rift there is between them and the West and it is all handled rather well. There is also the relationship bit which sits quite well within the stories context.

Directed by David Koepp who is more famous for his writing abilities but he did direct `Stir of Echoes' and has worked on `Spiderman', `Mission Impossible' and even that last `Indiana Jones and the Crystal Meth' or what ever it was called, but either way the guy clearly has talent. He crams all this action into 91 minutes so there is no way you are ever going to get bored. If you like this there is a great little Korean film called `Adrenaline Rush', about a motor bike courier and lots of explosions which is also an action fest on two wheels. All in all this is a great film to just sit back and enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2013
This is a great little film. It had me laughing out loud every couple of minutes. The plot is pretty simple; the action scenes are great the tricks are ok. The thing that makes this film special is the cast. When you have a cast with great chemistry, and are 100% committed it shows on the screen. I also have to give all the actors credit on their training regimen the effort they put into looking/becoming their characters is exemplary.

Willie is the top bike messenger in New York City. He cuts between traffic, through pedestrians, and any other obstacles to deliver his package on time. He rides a steel frame bike with only one ultra-high gear and no breaks. The same way he lives his life always going forwards never stopping. Willie's main rival at work and for the affections of his girlfriend is Manny, the second fastest rider who will do anything to undercut Willie. Once again it is impressive how much research and time has been done for this movie everything looks and feels authentic from the characters look, to their attitude and mannerisms. Willie is given a package to deliver across New York City. The trouble is someone else want it and is willing to do anything to get it.

Great chase scenes, with bikes vs. cars, bikes vs. bikes, bikes vs. people. This film is truly original, really funny and entertaining. After watching this you will appreciate all the hard work from everyone involved in this film to make something magical. Watch it you won't regret it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2013
David Koepp and John Kamps came up with this little idea of making a film about NYC's bike messengers.
They wrote a simple story which could be any movie made by Jason Stratham(except he's too old for the role)
but they meticulously prepared and wrote the screenplay and made it into one of the most exciting and entertaining
action film of this past year with a team of young attractive cast and the great Michael Shannon as a cop.
Now this is a film involved storyline about the Chinese immigrants in the US but the filmmakers picked a great
Chinese cast and did not turn them into caricatures.
A highly recommended entertaining film and not to be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
On the face of it, a thriller about a New York bike messenger doesn't seem all that likely. Then you find out that bike messengers in New York have to duck through high speed traffic without brakes, and that they are exclusive subculture that attracts quite a share of rivalry and thrill-seeking. And when you think about it, they could easily be told to deliver an innocent looking envelope that turns out to be anything but.

Our hero is Wilee (as in coyote) and he has just been knocked off his bike. No wait...back up. It's several hours earlier and Wiley is making his way to his next pickup, while bickering with his ex. The story is told in a non-linear style that obscures it's relatively straightforward plot. Now we already know what will happen, but why? Who is the man who chases Wilee, threatening him and demanding the package he has just collected. Later (or should that be earlier) we will see what makes this man want the package so badly, but for now we are hurled into chase that might cost our hero his life...

This film also makes great use of two rather clever effects. One is a CGI street maps view of New York which shows us where we are and the route our hero must take. The second, my favourite, is Wilee's equivalent of Sherlock Holmes's pre-visualisation, where a glance at the scene plots out each of the potential routes through the traffic and the possible consequences of each one. (These are done with a lot of humour, the brilliant use of the `Wilhelm scream' in one had me laughing out loud.) The high speed chase action includes some great locations, from central park to the inside of the NYPD's car impound (for some nice stunt riding) and never degenerates to shaky-cam incomprehensibility. This film is full of real riding and real stunts, and though the odd bit of CGI sneaks in here and there, it all looks coherent and convincing. Some of those stunts must have hurt too, watch past the first lot of credits to see what I mean. Even more improbably, the film has a heart. It's characters aren't super assassins and master criminals. Wilee might be the elite of the bike messenger community, but his girlfriend thinks he's an idiot for dropping out of law school, so when the situation spins out of control we fear for him the way we never do for Chev Chelios or Frank Martin. While the story is simple, it is not stupid and the characters are believable throughout.

The blu ray is a great transfer and the picture quality does justice to the fast stunts, as well as the blazing sun and mean streets of NYC. It also pumps out an amazing soundtrack ranging from Barbara O'Riley by the Who to Salute Your Solution by the Raconteurs, so better audio is a must. Premium Rush might follow the action movie formula but the non-linear style and animated inserts give it something new and unlike some recent films, it integrates them as a real story telling device, rather than just a punchline. In fact the whole film has been brought to life with such inventiveness that you can't help but enjoy the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an underachiever bike messenger in NYC. He has issues with his girlfriend Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) who in turn is being evicted by her roommate Nima(Jamie Chung) and she is being hit on by Wilee's work mate Manny (Wolé Parks).

Wilee likes to ride and is reckless. Once we get some quick character introductions, Wilee has to pick up a message from Nima...a premium rush, and deliver it in China Town. There is a policeman (Michael Shannon) with a gambling debt that is attempting to intercept the message.

The plot is straight forward with no twists. Most of the film is bike riding. The film starts out as a flashback and then gives us flashbacks within the flashback to explain plot points. I was rather bored with the whole film, but this might have a younger audience appeal.

Parental guide: 1 F-bomb (why do they do that?), no sex or nudity.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 June 2013
Premium Rush may be a budget film with a basic afternoon plot, but it packs plenty of punch with it's great enthusiastic cast, interesting ideas & the main draw, it's adrenaline pumping bike action. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) stars as Wilee, one of the best New York bicycle courier's who turned down a stuffy life of studying as a lawyer, to live life on the edge every day rushing through the danger of vehicles & pedestrians "I like to ride. Fixed gear. No brakes. Can't stop. Don't want to, either". Here he is tasked to deliver a Premium Rush package across the City, unknown as to what is inside, but corrupt NYPD detective Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon -Man Of Steel) certainly does & needs it to get him off the hook with some triad's. But that's easier said than done *beep beep*.

Written & directed by David Koepp, Premium Rush does offer some ideas from his past movie's such as Snake Eyes. Where the story we watch unfolds from the perspective of each character caught up in this mess, and eventually joins up as we jump to another character & see the other side to bit's of the film we caught a glimpse of. When the action turns on two wheels it has it's bases covered with variety & making things very exciting, tricks, fleeing chasing cars/cyclists , races, ducking under trailers, escaping through shops or through construction sites etc... I also particularly liked the use of modern technology, as the big screen gets used as a Google map taking us to locations which made things interesting & snappy. And the split second decision making by Wilee on his bike to avoid accidents, where he looks at his possible routes around obstacles & the outcomes are played out as is they happened, form getting run over to hitting pedestrians, until he picks the right move which is all supposed to be in a blink of a few seconds.

On the acting front, a very lean Joseph Gordon-Levitt managed to impress as his intense & cocky, yet likable Wilee character. Looking assured on his bike that he was totally believable in the role. Michael Shannon was also great as the desperate, corrupt, gambling addicted cop, who is in deep financial problems with the triad's. His authoritative & intimidating stature, coupled with some glimpses of crazy personality & unpredictability as he gets more desperate, made him an intriguing & flawed nemesis you couldn't take your eyes off at times. Of the other co-stars, the beautiful Dania Ramirez was well cast for the love interest Vanessa, albeit looking a little awkward on a bike. And Wolé Parks as Manny, Wilee's competition for the heart of Vanessa & being the best courier, albeit the outcome was going to be pretty obvious.

In conclusion, Premium Rush makes great use of it's bike courier main theme, add's some nice ideas with a semi-interesting story that will keep you engaged until it turns to a thrill ride on two wheels. You may just go out & buy a bike after watching this ;-) Recommended.
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Among the bike couriers in New York, no one is more determined and reckless than Wilee, more comfortable on his bike than in a suit.

A Chinese foreign student arranges for him to deliver a vital envelope across the city. A crooked cop, Det. Monday, has a desperate need for that envelope himself and won't take no for an answer.

Wilee finds himself relentlessly pursued by Monday and others in a situation becoming more complicated and dangerous by the minute.

Together with his friends and rivals, Wilee must discover the secret of this dangerous delivery and make it through a deadly gauntlet...

One of the more surprising films of the year, it's really odd how entertaining this movie is, and how familiar the film also is.

Levitt and especially Shannon, take what is essentially an average cat and mouse movie, and make it something that you actually pay attention to, rather than just have it on in the background whilst you are doing something else.

It's fast paced, very funny, and Shannon is easily having a ball playing the stereotypical bad cop.

It's one of those films that you will watch, and wonder why you've never heard of it before.

It does riff slightly on 1986's Quicksilver, but this is by far a better movie.

It's fun, with good stunts, and better performances.

Well worth seeing.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 June 2014
The tight and uncomplicated screenplay is complimented by a director who shows a real flair for fluid movement. The cycling provides us with action aplenty as the cast weave through perilous traffic on the bustling city streets that seem to develop a character all of their own. Our hero is a cycle courier who's lastest package comes with a whole load of trouble. JGL's youthful charm belies a worldly understanding and despite some quick characterisation he's a familiar type and easy enough to route for. The leads are surrounded by a supporting cast that are a well worn mixture of street types, cops and rogues and as well as Michael Shannon as his fairly nasty nemesis, JGL has to contend with relationship problems, a love rival and the reminders of a cerebral past he's desperate to leave behind. The screenplay has enough room for a couple of tricks, namely, scenes being delivered out of sequence and motivations being revealed in a non linear fashion; at first, we don't know what is in the envelop or why JGL is being pursued, but it all works out nicely in the end. I'm really glad I watched this fast paced adventure, it's enjoyable, throwaway stuff which shares pace and excitement with the likes of 2004's Cellular.
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Premium Rush is not a great movie. But, then again, it's certainly not a bad one either. It seems to sit perfectly on that middle ground between the two. It's about a cycle courier in New York who picks up a package to deliver, only to discover a sinister man also wants it and will do anything to get it. What transpires is a cat and mouse chase through the city.

The good guys are easily defined as good and the bad guys are suitably bad. It all plays out like a comic book adventure with plenty of action, chases and the odd bit of sentiment and romance thrown in to the bargain.

In many ways Premium Rush is the perfect film. It's easy to watch, not hard to understand and could probably double as a `date movie' as it would most likely enjoyed by couples (men for the action and woman as there seems to be plenty of topless men!).

If you want to rest your mind, get out a big bag of popcorn, pick `n mix or your snacks of choice, put your brain `on hold' and enjoy the daftness of the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2013
In Manhattan, a bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop,(Michael Shannon) who pursues the cyclist throughout the city. An interesting story, great chase sequences, good acting all round keeps you watching till the end.
Make sure you watch it!
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