Monday, August 13, 2012

“PREMIUM RUSH” Movie Review. Are you GEARED for spectacular BICYCLE STUNTS?


Honestly speaking …..

You can rarely come across a feature film such as “PREMIUM RUSH” that breezes you through the breathtaking insights of a cycle courier, battling his parkour on wheels (a grueling non-competitive sport focusing on physical discipline).

The headline “RIDE LIKE HELL” says it loud and clear, screaming for attention from the movie poster.

You are promised that the death-defying stunts are going to be authentically old-school.

There will not be any computer-generated enhancement imagery used to deceive your eyes, so the actions are for real.

And the bonus: this season’s hottest flavor JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT will be playing the bicyle riding lead in this story.

He stars as WILEE, this devil-may-care bicycle messenger who speeds precariously on his “fixie”, a bike that is a super lightweight, single geared and brakeless.

WILEE is a die-hard bicycle messenger and his job is totally reliant on this “fixie” bike.

Far from being a piece of cake, his daily daunting tasks are spiced with spills and thrills, fraught with dangers in trying to avoid himself from being hit by speeding vehicles, human beings and reckless cab drivers along the street.

 Bike messengers are employed by courier companies because bicycle travel is less prone to unexpected holdups in city’s congested traffic jams  and is unlikely to be deterred by unpleasant parking limitations that can hinder prompt delivery.

Be prepared to be amazed by the stunning bike choreography.

“PREMIUM RUSH” is an eye-opener that implores you to share the hectic routines of the bicycle messengers and is fertile ground to set off a high octane actioner.

The film director DAVID KOEPP exemplifies a courageous tale of respect and resilience.

The plot:

WILEE, a dedicated New York bike messenger is entrusted with  an envelope by NIMA, a young Chinese woman played by JAMIE CHUNG at an uptown Manhattan college.  The instructions?  He has to deliver it to a shady address in Chinatown within 90 minutes.

No one would ever expect a corrupt police office to suddenly step in and demand the envelope on ambiguous grounds.

The shady motives are succintly revealed through a series of flashbacks as the cop (MICHAEL SHANNON) and the messenger furiously engage in a cat-and-mouse chase in a race against time.

 WILEE has to defend the urgency of the envelope’s mysterious contents.

A little on film director DAVID KOEPP here:

Granted, he may be one of Hollywood most prolific screenwriters with more than two decades of writing blockbusters.

But helming the movie is another story.

He has delivered the actions well.

Outside of the stunts, the treatment of  the tamer scenes in-between tends to fall substantially into light-hearted buffoonery.

MICHAEL SHANNON the predator is portrayed as a bumbling, inept idiot who’s been given a hard time by JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT in the dodging game. Also, there’s a touch of comedic element meted to the rogues and the evil characters are far from being the menacing and slashing lot.

An air of sinister suspense can do wonders to ignite the sparks, and could fare better to keep the adrenalin flowing.

Whatever it takes, if you are an avid fan of JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, this one can’t possibly go wrong.


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