Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Sean Kennedy, Kymberly Perfetto, Anthony Chisholm, Wolé Parks, and more
Directed by: David Koepp Written by: David Koepp and John Kamps Cinematography by: Mitchell Amundsen Original Music by: David Sardy
Premise: A bike courier working the busy streets of New York gets harassed about handing over an envelope he's picked up for delivery. Though he slips away, the guy who wants the envelope is persistent and keeps finding him again and forcing the situation to escalate. Going to the cops to report him, Wilee accidentally finds out the man gunning for him is a police detective. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: I have to give Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez and Wolé Parks a well deserved round of applause. Not only were they acting in the film, but they also did most of the bike riding and some of the stunts as well. They trained hard for this movie and it shows. And giving great acting performances as well just made the movie that much better. I had no trouble believing the characters portrayed actually did bike deliveries for a living.
Michael Shannon did his usual best as the cop with impulse issues. Jamie Chung was great as well. Her emotions as she followed her path were contained and controlled for those around her in the film yet at the same time they were quite palpable to the audience. Very nice work.
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: There weren't a lot of special effects, but the ones they had were a lot of fun. Colored lines would appear whenever the camera pulled up over the city to let you know the routes being taken, or where people were located at that point in time, which was pretty neat. They also added numbers representing the time to help the audience keep the time line straight and realize if the coming sequence was a flashback.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The plot wasn't too complicated, and all the pieces were shown and wrapped up nicely by the end. It even had a couple of subplots, some of which tie eventually back to the main plot. Unfortunately, while the flashbacks were enlightening, in a couple of spots they ended up detractring from the fast pace of the film rather than help it along.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: You will cringe several times while watching the movie with sympathetic pain. The fact Wilee can look at what's ahead and determine the outcome of each route before he takes it was really neat, yet also really painful. CGI helped create several of these simulations, but not all of them. And several of the spills were done by the actors themselves. There is one police bicyclist you will feel very sorry for by the films end. Ouch!
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Many decent views of New York, especially busy New York streets. Lots of shots from different angles and perspectives, which helped keep the act of following the cyclists very fresh and new. Some of the routes Wilee takes as he's being chased were unusual and a lot of fun.
Conclusion: "Premium Rush" is a nice, heart pumping action film. Go in, sit back, and just enjoy the rush.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: None - he was out of town)