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Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day's work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York's agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie - super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy who's used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when his last envelope of the day - a routine "premium rush" run - turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan. Also starring Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez and Jamie Chung.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 155
- Fresh: 117
- Rotten: 38
- Average Rating: 6.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Premium Rush earns its place as end-of-the-summer escapism, but I can't say that it's more than a well-done formula flick.
Fresh: I do have an abiding fondness for compact and coherent action movies, and this is surely one.
Fresh: An unpretentious throwback to the kind of action movie that had no need of superheroes, Premium Rush is hardly a classic but fun up to a point.
Rotten: This is supposed to be a life-and-death chase movie, not two friends messing around.
A FUN, BUT FORMULAIC ACTION FLICK
"Premium Rush" is one of those over-the-top action films that'll either leave you satisfyingly entertained or left in the dust by the time the end credits appear, and based on the utter absurdity of the premise, it's easy to see why. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an agile and aggressive bike messenger named Wilee (a reference to Wile E. Coyote), whose latest assignment to deliver a mysterious envelope leaves him riding for his life from a corrupt cop (played by a scene-stealing Michael Shannon), who'll literally kill to get his hands on the package. The story is about as straightforward as you can imagine, but at least it's set up in a pretty cool way. Gordon-Levitt delivers some solid narration while he races through the streets of New York. But after a few scenes of fun, mindless action and stylish stunt work, the movie takes a weird left turn and expands on the formulaic plot to the point of annoyance. For some reason, the writers felt like the film needed to be explained more, so they decided to add in all these lengthy, unnecessary flashbacks that do nothing but bog down the story and practically destroy the momentum. Not all of the cutaways are bad, but they appear so many times and explain so much needless information that it takes away from what's supposed to be just an enjoyable chase movie. As for the acting, it's mostly hit and miss. Gordon-Levitt delivers his role with a fantastic amount of energy and enthusiasm, easily making him the most likable character in the film. Shannon, on the other hand, starts out as a promisingly creepy villain, but somewhere along the way, he awkwardly turns into this weird cartoony bad guy that can't be taken seriously. But hey, at least his psychotic performance is one of the flick's biggest highlights, in terms of laughs. No one else in the cast stands out, but that isn't much of an issue since Gordon-Levitt and Shannon's roles practically carry the film. Overall though, "Premium Rush" is a mixed bag of sorts. On one hand, it's a mindlessly entertaining action flick with enough fast-paced chase sequences and eye-popping bike stunts to keep you glued to your seat. At the same time, it collapses under the weight of its heavy-handed storytelling, weak character development, and jarring tonal shifts. Like I said before, this movie definitely won't appeal to everyone. But for those of you who just wanna sit back and watch an enjoyably convoluted high-speed chase film for an hour and a half, it's worth a one-time rent.
It had potential.
Who knew an hour and a half of bike tricks and sweaty chicks would be too much?! This movie felt like it was going to get a plot and take off a couple times...but couldn't quite make it happen. The whole back and forth time thing was at least enough to keep you interested, but overall, unless you are a bike messenger in NYC, you should pass on this almost action movie.
The movie wasnt worth it. Maybe rentable just to see whats all the the hype is about . In the end you find your self thinking to your self what was i doing a minute ago oh yeah i was watching a movie.