Bike messengers, we see them in the movies riding through the hustle and bustle of New York City. But what’s it really like to be in that rush, going through the busy streets, dodging all sorts of mayhem.
Perhaps this week’s offering – Premium Rush can give us an insight
Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors, and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day’s work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York’s agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie – super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and suicidal nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic.
But a guy who’s used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when a routine delivery turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan. When Wilee picks up his last envelope of the day on a premium rush run, he discovers this package is different. This time, someone is actually trying to kill him.
This movie makes for some enjoyable, fast-paced action and while it seems a little crazy to be cycling on a bike with no brakes and just a single gear, it does give audiences some adrenaline pumping moments.
I think the key here was in the way it was filmed, with many close up moments that make you feel like you are one of the riders. Lots of closed spaces showing the mobility of being a bicycle rider / messenger and the danger due to riding on the road at such crazy speeds.
Let’s talk about the plot. It’s actually better than I expected, not entirely complicated nor does it just feature mindless stunts. It’s believable and does a clever play on bringing the audience back and forth in the timeline of the day to show you different things that are happening to the characters. It does remind me a little of Vantage Point.
Add these elements with superb performances by crowd favourite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon and I believe we have a good movie the kicks off the post summer box office phase for cinema-goers.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Incidentally this is the Michael Shannon who will be playing General Zod in next year’s Man of Steel so if you wanna get a sneak peak at how good an actor he is, go watch this movie!
By Elliott Danker
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Singapore
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