Premium Rush

Premium Rush is a fun and fast paced action movie that is held together by Joseph Gordon Levitt and Michael Shannon. Their acting creates characters worth watching and leaves you invested in the story. The movie features some impressive visuals as well as some visual effects that creates a video game like feel to the movie. There are a few hiccups here and there but the movie ends up being entertaining despite the straightforward familiar story.

Joseph Gordon Levitt has had a pretty productive year this year. Starring in The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, and the soon to be released Looper, he has easily done his fair share of work this year. He’s always a joy to watch on screen and has had a great range of movies over the years. Premium Rush in particular finds him center stage as the story’s main protagonist in this late summer action hit.

Premium Rush succeeds as a fun action movie with a pretty straightforward plot. The movie tries to shake things up by showing us scenes and then rewinding the clock and showing us the scene from a different point of view, just a few hours earlier. Personally I like it but I’ve known this story telling technique to be quite cumbersome to some viewers unless executed superbly. Although it’s not a bad execution, it doesn’t seem necessary to tell this movie in a broken timeline format.

Minor Plot Spoilers

However, the thing that this movie does well in this broken timeline format is that it creates more tension for the main character Wilee/Levitt due to the fact that the opening scene in this movie is near the end where Wilee is hit by a car and sent flying through the air. If you’ve seen previews for this movie you know this movie is about fast paced bicycle action that takes place through the streets of New York. So having the movie start off with Wilee sent crashing through the air and then rewinding back the clocks leading up to that moment makes every other near miss with cars feel as though this is the one that they showed us in the beginning. It adds just a little more tension as Wilee is weaving in and out of the streets and avoiding cars and pedestrians.

End Minor Plot Spoilers

The movie features a lot of scenes that show Wilee mentally mapping out his directional choices as he is flying down the streets. The neat thing about this is that it plays out many different scenarios and shows us the consequences of each choice Wilee can take.  Of course all of this takes place in seconds but the movie pauses enough to show us the various scenarios and allows us to see the mental breakdown of Wilee’s skill. Ultimately this gives the movie a video game like feel, which as an avid gamer made me enjoy the movie even more. Continuing the video game like feel, the movie features a lot of scene transitions that are a 3D map overlay depicting the best possible routes for Wilee to take to get to his destination. Gamers will find it feels like the movie has taken out parts of games like Grand Theft Auto, Saint’s Row, or even Spider-Man where you are selecting your next objective. The maps are extremely similar to those 3D layouts and it’s a neat touch for the movie.

As I said earlier, the movie is relatively straightforward and will feel like an all too familiar story, but the thing that sets this movie apart is the stand out performances of Joseph Gordon Levitt and Michael Shannon. I was first introduced to Michael Shannon through the wonderful HBO Series, Boardwalk Empire so it comes as no surprise to me just how wonderful he can be.

Michael Shannon’s character, Bobby Monday, is a corrupt cop who finds himself in a bit of trouble and ultimately needs to apprehend the package Wilee is carrying. From the outside he seems normal but the movie eventually reveals how chaotic and violent he is. Though the dialogue can be a little iffy he brings a chaotic fear in his acting that created a sense of fear and almost leaves you feeling sorry for him as you learn how crazy he really is.

Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Wilee, a smart man who has put his education on hold to live out his passion of biking through the streets as a New York messanger. He finds fulfillment in his job and is happy with the way his life is despite what everyone wants for him. Playing along side a solid cast he’s able to anchor this movie and make it enjoyable for audiences. His character comes across as heartfelt and sincere, even when situations aren’t exactly in his favor.

Visually the movie has a mix bag of great shots. Of course like I mentioned earlier, the movie features some really unique ideas in depicting the mental break down of Wilee and his bike riding. The movie also has nice shots of New York and one in particular towards the end of the movie where he’s biking down the street as the sun is setting. I know this seems trivial to bring up but there was something about this scene that was visually stunning and has stuck with me for a while.

I have a couple of complaints but nothing too detracting from the movie. I don’t know if it was a stylistic shot or just a result of something else, but there are a few scenes in the movie that are low angle shots of the bikes as they’re speeding down the street. The quality of these shots drop down to what feels like cell phone footage. If it was a stylistic choice it ultimately ends up being distracting.  Also there are other scenes where you can clearly see the stunt double is on the bike and not Joseph Gordon Levitt. It wouldn’t be so bad but it seems as though the movie lingers too long on a long shot of Wilee where you can easily tell it’s someone else.

Premium Rush is a fun and fast paced action movie that is held together by Joseph Gordon Levitt and Michael Shannon. Their acting creates characters worth watching and leaves you invested in the story. The movie features some impressive visuals as well as some visual effects that creates a video game like feel to the movie. There are a few hiccups here and there but the movie ends up being entertaining despite the straightforward familiar story.

Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at rrsolis@me.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

Connect with me at:
Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic 

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One response to “Premium Rush

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of December 17th | thinkingcinematic

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