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Premium Rush ( 2013) – A Classic Popcorn Movie

Premium Rush is an action movie that talks about the bicycle messengers of Manhattan. It shows us how they run traffic lights, hurtle down pavements, go into shops, get run over, get body bruises and deliver your package on time. All this for a lousy pay. Apparently these are the guys you call upon when you are in a hurry and FedEx and DHL can’t get the job done.

Premium Rush is your classic popcorn movie. It doesn’t aspire to be anything more and what it promises to be, it delivers. Premium Rush works because it doesn’t use any of the age old tried and tested methods of creating action. The novelty lies in the use of bicycles and the effective storytelling that David Koepp sticks to. Koepp uses flashbacks  all short time spaces, to tell the story.He doesn’t go overboard with them and that helps a lot. And in all that he manages to put plenty of action in it. There isn’t a large time frame without an action scene in it. As I said, it sticks to doing what it promises it would and it does so with style. The bike chase sequences are filmed brilliantly. Point of view shots are used to great effect and so are overhead shots. You get the thrill of each and every sequence. It is not just the actors who feel the adrenaline rush, you get it as well. And that is why we love good action movies.

Hollywood action movie based in New York City Premium RushPremium Rush has a simple plot. in fact, the plot is stretched for 90 minutes. If it wasn’t for the action, one can say there’s nothing to it. The plot involves Wilee(Joseph Gordon Levitt), a bike messenger in Manhattan who hates wearing suits and working in the office and rides the bike for the high. He rides without brakes and is the best at what he does. Wilee has a girlfriend Vanessa(Diana Ramirez), also a bike messenger. Then there is Manny, the guy who finishes second to Wilee at all things and always pushes Wilee to the next level. Vanessa rooms with Nima(Jamie Chung), who  has a courier which is a premium rush(fast delivery, I think) and which is the root for all the trouble and chase sequences. And she has called upon the services of the best bike messenger in Manhattan to deliver her courier. Michael Shannon plays a bent cop, Robert Monday, who has racked up a sizable debt thanks to his gambling debt and has to find a way to clear it and guess what, the premium rush delivery will solve his problems. For 90 minutes, this is pretty threadbare stuff but David Koepp isn’t deterred. He makes great use of the action scenes and two great acting performances to make sure that the film works. Koepp takes a leaf out of Guy Ritchie’s book and makes Wilee deduce the best possible route to take by showing us all the possible endings of an existing alternative and those small sequences make us appreciate what a biker has to got through and there’s a rush when that happens.

Michael Shannon in Premium RushJoseph Gordon Levitt is showing great range as an actor and as Wilee, he is brilliant. He hasn’t got much to build his performance on and with what little he has he pulls off a good performance. He anchors the film with his genuineness and what little romantic element the movie has, he pulls it off with earnest. But the star performance has to be Michael Shannon’s Robert Monday. Michael Shannon has a field day playing the bent cop. He doesn’t attempt to show a good side. He doesn’t need to and he revels in playing the sleazy cop. He brings the sneer, he brings a charm to being the bad guy. He knows he is bad and he plays the card to great effect.

Behind the Action Scenes of Premium RushOne would be doing a great injustice if one doesn’t mention the stunts performed. In an age where CGI does everything for you, to have bikers do most of the stunts is refreshing and looks very convincing. This is not a movie for you if you are looking for characters and events that are deep and provide you with moral questions. It is a fun movie. It is the kind of action movie which gives you an adrenaline rush and what it promises, it delivers.

P.S. It has The Who’s Baba O’Riley playing during the opening and closing credits. Some people know what doing something good involves.

By: Hithesh Devasya
Posted: May 27, 2013, 6:56 pm


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