Looking back: Premium Rush (2012)

Looking back is a new feature here, whereby I watch an old film I may or may not have seen already and then give it a review afterwards. Typically these will be films that aren’t on general release at the cinema, as those will just appear in the normal reviews section.

As I say, the Looking Back feature will be a chance to view and review older films and may hopefully give my readers the opportunity to have their say on a chosen film in the comments, I might even be able to unlock a hidden gem for people to watch or maybe someone has a recommendation for me.

Today: Premium Rush

Director: David Koepp

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon & Dania Ramirez

Synopsis: In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.

2012 was a pretty good year for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Starring in Looper, The Dark Knight Rises and Premium Rush, anyone who has three commercially viable films out in one year is always going to be a little more famous after it. However, Premium Rush may well be the one that most people missed.

Premium Rush may well find its audience now it has been released on DVD and blu-ray.I recently had the chance to view it at home and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. It’s a bit like Speed, only on a bike that has no brakes, but don’t let that put you off.

The action is fast and pretty constant throughout the movie. A lot of the stunts and chases are very well handled, and as they are filmed on real streets, a sense of reality comes with them. Check out the sequence during the credits to see just how real they were.

The story itself is fairly standard. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or JGL from now on, plays Wilee. An average joe worker who loves his job and works hard for it. After picking up his last package of the day, everything starts to turn sour. He has problems with his girlfriend Dania Ramirez, and Michael Shannon’s bent police officer wants whatever is in Wilee’s envelope. Of course Willee won’t just hand it over, and so begins the chase.

There are a few moments that seem slightly unbelievable during Premium Rush. In one sequence, Shannon’s police officer can’t keep up with JGL’s biker, although Shannon is in a, seemingly, top end car that should have no real problem catching him up. Some of the dialogue can be a little clunky at times, “Suck it, douchebag!”, actually no that was quite cool.

JGL is likeable, as always. He seems to have a certain charm about him, that makes him endearing no matter what role he plays. Ramirez is underused and doesn’t have much to do apart from look good and moan at Wilee for being a bad boyfriend. Shannon’s bad guy, Bobby Monday (brilliant name btw) is menacing throughout, which bodes well for this years role of Zod in Man Of Steel, although at times his performance and, strangely, his voice are very cartoon like.

I do feel if you missed this while it was at the cinema, you weren’t the only one. In a summer filled with Avengers and Dark Knight’s , Premium Rush probably passed many people by, me included. Now it is available to view at home, it’s definitely worth checking out, perhaps as a rental as opposed to a purchase but I can definitely think of worse ways to spend an hour and a half.



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