New Release: Premium Rush

Though January and August seem to be the ultimate dumping grounds for the bottom of the film barrel, sometimes Hollywood bestows a nice surprise upon the desperate ticket-holding audience. Such is the case for Premium Rush, an originally-slated for January-but-pushed-back-to-August release.

Premium Rush spins the tale of the hard life of the Manhattan bike messenger, hated equally by both drivers and pedestrians. Nearing the end of his work day, fearless bike messenger Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up a delivery that quickly has dirty cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) hot on his trail, and getting the package across town to its destination on time becomes nearly impossible.

"Bike messenger pedals away from dirty cop" doesn't exactly beg to be seen, but with the talents of the highly beloved Jo-Go and Michael Shannon, it seemed Premium Rush was worth at least a matinee ticket. What followed was 90 minutes of a perfectly paced and expertly told story. It's a thin story, to be sure, but worth following for the time it takes to down a large soda and bucket of popcorn. There is little to reflect on afterwards, except to think, "Damn that was fun!"

And the film does try to be more than just a lot of cool bike tricks. There is a backstory to Wilee and the dangerous envelope he's carrying, but not so much that exposition slows down the action that moves everything forward. Though the performances are either a bit stiff or insanely over the top, they fit within the fast paced world of the busy bike messenger.

Premium Rush isn't a "must see" flick, but it is an exciting last jolt of summer fun before the artsy darlings hit theaters next month. [Insert bicycle pun about wearing a helmet.]

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