Premium Rush is one of the breeziest films to come out in 2012, one where you don’t have much to figure out and instead just sit back and enjoy the show, thin as the story might be. But thanks to some nifty stunts, an “interesting” performance from Michael Shannon channeling his inner-“Looney Tunes” and some impressive bike work by Gordon-Levitt, the film is at least worth a glance though I don’t think the replay value on this is very high.
Sony | PG13 – 91 min. – $35.99 | December 21, 2012
Directed by: David Koepp
Writer(s): David Koepp & John Kamps (written by)
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez
Theatrical Release Date: August 24, 2012
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Portuguese (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.0 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Every year there comes a movie with no depth, cartoonish characters and a mind numbingly simplistic story. And one of those films for 2012 is Premium Rush, a high-octane flick no doubt but one that barely scratches the surface… if at all. That being said, this doesn’t mean this isn’t a fun little ride to be on.
The story follows zany bike messenger Wilee (JOSEPH GORDON LEVITT), whose name isn’t lost on his colleagues as he bikes like a maniac that includes riding without brakes. His girlfriend, Vanessa (DANIA RAMIREZ), a fellow messenger, has grown tired of his antics fearing he’ll get killed out there while his chief rival (WOLE PARKS) has a thing for Vanessa and his fiercely competitive.
Wanting to earn some extra cash, Wilee takes a premium rush job to deliver an important envelope across town by 7 pm. However, as told via flashbacks, this envelope proves to be very important to Detective Bobby Monday (MICHAEL SHANNON) and will do anything and everything to get his hands on it, together with making wacky cartoon voices.
In the flashbacks we discover Monday has a gambling addiction and is in deep with the Chinese mob. How does the envelope come into play? Well, via another flashback, it’s a ticket worth $50,000 that a young woman needs to get a special person for a special reason.
I won’t reveal here as it’s the only piece of the story which has any surprise. Needless to say, $50k would solve all Monday’s problems but the waskely Wilee just will not give it up and the chase is on through New York City with some detours along the way involving other bikes and cars in the attempts to snatch the cash.
That is a short and sweet premise and although it’s not entirely predictable, by the halfway point you know where the film is headed. There are plenty of things not to like about Premium Rush from a razor thin screenplay and a questionable even strange performance from the talented Michael Shannon but the stunt work is amazing. Speaking of which, I do have to commend Joseph Gordon-Levitt who has shown these past few years, probably starting with (500) Days of Summer, to be a fantastic actor who has grown beyond his “3rd Rock from the Sun” days to being able to hold his own be it small independent or a summer blockbuster.
Premium Rush was co-written and directed by David Koepp whose writing work spans 20+ years and includes Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man and the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot (he also has clunkers like Lost World: Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull under his belt). For this movie, I liked the fact it’s simple and something you don’t need to think too hard about. Clocking in at only 93-minutes, it goes by in a breeze and although I doubt you’ll remember in a week’s time, unless you’re living a boring ass life, it still gets a modest recommendation.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
The Starting Line (9:30; HD) – This is a generic making-of featurette with some typical cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, including bike training, intermixed with footage from the movie itself. Koepp does the most talking explaining how the plot came about and the research done on bike messengers.
Behind the Wheels (12:51; HD) focuses on the chase sequences – car vs. bike/bike vs. bike, shooting in New York and stunt work done throughout the film.
Also included is an UltraViolet Digital Copy download code.
Previews – Looper, Total Recall
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Premium Rush speeds, without breaks, onto Blu-ray with an adequate if not un-astounding 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 codec). Presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, the film features bright colors and semi-decent detail levels throughout. The picture might not pop off the screen compared with other recent releases, it’s still good enough and there’s nary a flaw in sight.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc includes an immersive 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which has a wide range from a few quieter scenes intermixed with the action sequences with car horns blaring, tires screeching, gunfire and the general New York City sounds. While the center channel gets the most usage, the surround speakers get a fine workout as does the bass which clicks on at various times.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Premium Rush is one of the breeziest films to come out in 2012, one where you don’t have much to figure out and instead just sit back and enjoy the show, thin as the story might be. But thanks to some nifty stunts, an “interesting” performance from Michael Shannon channeling his inner-“Looney Tunes” and some impressive bike work by Gordon-Levitt, Premium Rush is at least worth a glance though I don’t think the replay value on this is very high. For its part, the Blu-ray has a good video/audio transfers however the features have much to be desired.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.