Premium Rush (2012)
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez
“Premium Rush” introduces you to the little-acknowledged life of Manhattan bike messengers. It’s a thrilling career – or so filmmakers would have you believe – full of adrenaline-induced action and near-death experiences. For “$80 on a good day,” it’s a wonder that cyclists like Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) continue doing it week after week, but, you’ve got to give him credit – the guy loves his job. On one particular day, Wilee picks up an envelope that attracts the attention of one crooked cop (Shannon) who seems bent on recovering it before its proper delivery. What ensues is a fit of road rage that sees Detective Monday chasing down Wilee through hectic New York City traffic. While Wilee is still unsure what the small envelope contains, he does know one thing – that he must protect its contents and ensure its safe delivery before 7:00 that evening.
The Story: The storyline didn’t appeal to many when it opened in the box office, essentially flopping if you compare its domestic total gross to its estimated production budget. Based on previews or commercials alone, some people just may not be attracted to the movie initially. Once watching, the story is somewhat predictable due to the use of time jumping (e.g. the opening scene starts out with a nasty bike accident at 6:33 PM, but then shifts the timeline back to a couple hours earlier before the crash takes place). It’s not hard to know where the movie is going, so it won’t really keep you guessing.
The Acting: The acting is, by far, the biggest flaw with this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not the issue, but rather Michael Shannon, who plays the foul-mouthed, white-collared antagonist. Shannon is a complete eyesore every time he comes on screen. Whether it’s his almost-comical body language or his profanity-laden verbal cues, he makes this film absolutely painful.
The Genre: It’s still kind of difficult to put a thumb on its intended audience. Bikers? Delivery people? People who have a free Redbox code but a poor selection of options? “Premium Rush” won’t really draw you in completely unless you have some particular fondness to cycling or dirty cop thrillers.
If anything, the only thing you’ll want to be rushing for during the movie will be the eject button on your DVD player. “Premium Rush” is not worth the time. The story isn’t great and, despite a few fun BMX-type sequences, this movie is just not fun to watch. What absolutely tears this show apart is the dialogue, which is so bogged down by profanity that it is honestly laughable. Was the script written by a bunch of middle schoolers?? The number of curse words (40+ “s-words,” among other obscenities) rivals that of two other cinematic abominations – “S.W.A.T.” and “2 Fast 2 Furious” – that would also make audiences want to go deep clean their ear canals. In the end, if viewers can even make it that far, “Premium Rush” will leave you feeling bored, unfulfilled, and proud of your G-rated communication skills. You may also be interested in: “Fast Five” (2011), “Gone in Sixty Seconds” (2000), “The Italian Job” (2003).
DVD bonus features:
– Audio in: English, French, Spanish
– Subtitles in: English, French, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Korean
– Several movie previews
– No other features available on rental version
Directed by: David Koepp
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Running time: 91 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13 for “some violence, intense action sequences, and language,” including 40+ uses of the “S-word;” one use of the F-word; juvenile name calling (“D-Bag,” bi***, p***y, etc); several references to male and female anatomy; multiple moderately-offensive religious references; two obscene gestures with the middle finger; intimidation and threatened violence against women; brutal gang/mafia-style violence; mild racial profiling against Oriental characters; and semi-graphic, dramatized violence (bicycle-automobile crashes, pedestrians in peril – including one instance with a baby stroller, one man being crushed by a bus, etc).
Costars Jamie Chung, Aasif Mandvi, Wole Parks
DVD release date: December 21, 2012
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