In action movies, there are high speed car chases and then there are high speed foot chases. An action movie with high speed bike chases would be the next step. So far the concept seems as if the only thing that is hurting “Premium Rush’s” chances is its own release date.
As the readers of this paper are undoubtedly aware, this is the time everyone is going back to school. Much of that disposable income that summer blockbusters rely on isn’t as plentiful during these early months of autumn.
With that said, how does this film hold up? At first glance, it seems like your run-of-the-mill action thriller, except on bicycles. However, there are elements of this film that are enjoyable and indeed creative but the film reeks of a small budget.
The film stars Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, who plays the devil-may-care bike messenger Wilee. After given a last-minute delivery he finds himself being pursued by a crooked detective, played by Michael Shannon, leading to a chase throughout New York City.
Like mentioned earlier, the film does some really creative things with its premise, such as the various split-second route calculations and an overall GPS motif throughout the film. Where it suffers is that there are a lot of things brought into the film that either come out of nowhere or are given little development.
One thing I would have liked is to get to know characters more. Most of what we’re given is basically snippets of character development that almost feel a tad stereotypical.
The action sequences in the film are pretty cool as they come across as a hybrid of car chases and Parkour chase scenes. This, combined with the slow-motion calculations make for a nice looking film. One thing I definitely enjoy is the absence of shaky-cam movements. The way the whole film is shot is smooth and crisp, which complements the action scenes really well.
One issue I had with the film was its frequent changes in tone. While the overall tone was fairly serious, there are times in the film where there are moments that you think are jokes but you’re not quite sure if you should laugh. One good bit of comedy is a running gag involving as bike-riding policeman, but other times, during some more dramatic scenes, there will be an occasional insertion of comedy that seems as tad out of place.
Overall, I found this to be and enjoyable film, but the story could have used a little more refinement and some elements could have been introduced more gracefully. The action scenes are fun to watch, but do border on the unrealistic side during certain parts of the film. This is definitely one of those films that you can rent on Netflix, but not something that you should rush out and see in theaters. On my personal scale, I give “Premium Rush” a 3/5.
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