Friday, August 31, 2012

REVIEW: Premium Rush

Premium Rush

Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
Michael Shannon


August 24, 2012

David Koepp

Columbia Pictures

1 hour 31 minutes



'Premium Rush' is a movie where thinking is not required to enjoy it. Most recently, movies that possess the genres of action and thriller are supposed to have the audience thinking about it during and after it, thus making a "smart" film for the people. This requires the paying customer to check their brains in at the door and prepare for something fun and exciting. This was supposed to have come out back in January before being pushed to a late August release so Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 'The Dark Knight Rises' fame could get the film more money. While that looked to be a bad sign at first, it was actually a very smart move on Sony's part, because this film never belonged as a January release.

This is a film that could only work in two parts of the year: early Spring or late Summer. Alas, it's late Summer, and here the long delayed film finally comes to the big screen. This is the perfect movie to end off a summer that's had some both great films ('Marvel's The Avengers,' 'Prometheus') and disappointing ones. ('Dark Shadows,' 'The Watch') If someone is looking for a non-stop adrenaline fun to end off their long summer of movies, then definitely get over to seeing this action-thriller before getting back to school.

Wilee is the best bike messenger on the job these days. He has adjusted his bike so he doesn't have brakes, since he believes brakes are the cause for bike accidents in New York City. He has never failed on delivering for the citizens of Manhattan, but it is on this day that crazy shenanigans are about to ensue. After receiving an envelope to deliver to a woman in Chinatown, a mysterious man comes claiming that the envelope is his and he needs it back. Wilee doesn't realize until moments later that this man is much more than someone simply asking for a little envelope. This leads into a wild day of bikes, pain, and tons of near-death experiences.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be making some great career choices with roles in such acclaimed films as '50/50' and 'The Dark Knight Rises.' With this movie, it seems that he chose this script just to have some fun, and it clearly shows. His portrayal of Wilee is corny at times, but he is a fun presence to watch on screen, especially during the bike riding sequences. As for the award for the most over the top performance, that goes to Michael Shannon in a landslide. The performance is great by all means, but that's because it's intended to be a crazy and overacted role, which it most certainly is. The conflict between Levitt and Shannon is great to watch during their scenes; however they shine the most when they're on screen separately. Everyone else, from an accent bearing Jamie Chung to a love interest played by Dania Ramirez, all shine on screen and each have a part that makes them stand out in their own way.

The script is the thing that's getting the most hate from people seeing this movie. It's understandable because it's not trying to go to new places, but those who didn't like the script didn't understand what this movie was trying to be: a campy action-thriller-comedy in the vein of 80s thrillers. The script is trying to have cheesy moments, cool action scenes, and funny moments throughout. That's the formula of almost any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie from the 80s/90s and people love those films. As someone who truly appreciates the films from the 1980s, I found this to be just a fun throwback to those types of movies, and for that alone I had one hell of a fun time. Even the scenes where JGL is trying to figure out which pathway he should go during a red light are hilarious and really cool. That kind of reminded me of the first 'Sherlock Holmes' movie when Holmes is playing out how he's going to defeat his opponent. If you're a fan of old campy thrillers, then this will be you're dream movie. If not, then chances are you won't enjoy the film much.

'Premium Rush' isn't meant to be taken seriously at all. The comedic one liners, over the top acting, and cheesy script aren't meant to be beloved by everyone. This is the PG-13 80s homage for those who can't get into seeing 'The Expendables 2' in theaters. For a 91 minute film, the time flies by and it's nothing but a fun ride. Will this be considered one of the year's best movie overall? Probably not. Is this a fun ass time at the movies with your buddies next to you? Hell to the yes. 'Premium Rush' is the prime definition of the type of fun somebody would want to end off their summer movie season with. And for that alone, this is just a high adrenaline, action-packed, bowl of fun.

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