Premium Rush

Directed By: David Koepp

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Aaron Tveit, Dania Ramirez, and Jamie Chung

For all of us drivers out there who live in or near a major city, I have to say one thing.  Bikers suck and can be annoying as hell.  They're either hogging too much road thereby slowing us down or they're acting crazy and trying to get us killed in accidents.  With this in mind, I come to David Koepp's Premium Rush a very jaded moviegoer.  It's hard for me to feel every bump and bruise these bikers take because at the end of the day, they're probably getting on someone's damn nerves, some poor, innocent driver like me.

Somehow, Columbia Law alum Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has become a bike messenger in New York City.  He prefers this high risk lifestyle over a safe cushy office job.  He hates wearing suits.  Wilee can't stop riding like hell, and he doesn't want to either.  As he works alongside his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), two things are clear.  He's pretty damn good at his job, but his personal life sucks.  When Vanessa's roommate Nima (Jamie Chung) hires Wilee to deliver a package to a woman by the name of Sister Chen (Wai Ching Ho) in Chinatown, he unknowingly takes the job.  Soon, corrupt New York police officer Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) is looking to retrieve the valuable package Wilee is carrying, and a nonstop chase throughout the city ensues.

Premium Rush is one surprisingly entertaining film.  Director David Koepp made a movie about bike messengers more hilarious and thrilling than I ever thought it could be.  With unique, colorful visuals, fast-paced action, and gritty cinematography, Koepp gives us something creative and refreshing this weekend.  Despite his not-so-subtle love for Looney Tunes (in particular Wile E. Coyote and possibly Road Runner) and his blatant copying of Sherlock Holmes' thought process in tricky situations (i.e. seeing potential future scenarios), Premium Rush is a highly enjoyable movie.

The two main leads of Premium Rush give highly enjoyable performances.  Fresh from The Dark Knight Rises, Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines as Wilee (also known as the Coyote Man).  His character gives us a quiet, understated heroism throughout the film.  This is something for which Levitt already has a certain talent.  Naturally, he does well in this role.  As a bad cop and an equally bad gambler, Michael Shannon's baddie Bobby Monday has something to say about everything.  Fortunately, he typically will keep us laughing.  Shannon is one damn good actor and is absolutely entertaining in his role as the crooked NYPD cop.

Outside of Levitt and Shannon, we really get a mixed bag of performances.  Wole Park is a smooth-talking asshole throughout the film that does his job and gets on my nerves.  Dania Ramirez's portrayal of Vanessa is nothing more than mediocre.  Jamie Chung just gives a terrible performance as Nima, and it’s evident every time she’s on screen.  These performances of varying quality are abundantly clear and take way from the movie.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Premium Rush. David Koepp has really crafted a fresh, different film that's far better than what I expected.  While there are some plot points with which I disagree and quite a few predictable douchebags, it's undeniably good.  Premium Rush gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.