On a likeable scale from one to ten (ten being the most positive) where do bicycle messengers rank? They don’t! Without exception, as a group they are detested, cursed, sometimes killed but never pitied, admired or respected. They are universally iconoclastic: a plague, on urban society; “rules of the road” do not apply to them, stop lights anathema, pedestrians annoyances, roadblocks; like phantoms they appear and disappear out of congestion, plaguing, taunting, terrorizing the unsuspecting driver, walker, stroller; many urbanites have had unwanted, unsolicited intimacies with these demons on two wheels; left with lacerated limbs, battered bones, pulverized psyches. Igniting fear in the fearless.
That being stated “Premium Rush” is a terrific, stupendous, revolutionary movie; director David Koepp’s incredible filmmaking has accomplished the messianic, he puts a human face, personality, dignity on the maligned, despised devils- on- wheels. In a summer of scorching heat and a plethora of two-star films this one is a winner. Solid, exhilarating, thrilling 90 minutes of electrifying action that everyone who lives, or who has ever visited a mega- metropolis will relate to; we have seen the messengers fly over car doors, unexpectedly opened; innocents, crumpled on chaotic sidewalks; taxis, cars colliding while the catalyst spins away. It is an educational travelogue for those who have never ventured forth from the comfortable confines of their “messenger- less” towns, villages.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a natural as “Wilee”, smart enough to be a lawyer, but free of the confines of a “suit”, hours, boundaries of an office; he thrives on living, peddling in the fast lane, a lane forged or paved at whim: parks, docks, any street, alley in New York City; his break- less bicycle is a metaphor for the freedom, exuberance, the core of his existence; miraculously one roots, cheers for his success, survival.
Michael Shannon (so blessedly talented) is Wilee’s nemesis, “Bobby Monday”, a deranged, psychotic, addicted “dirty cop”; desperately seeking financial salvation by confiscating a “premium rush” delivery in Wilee’s possession. The validity of good and evil are equally, pungently, satisfyingly matched.
It is refreshing to see a movie made for the sole purpose of entertainment; “Premium Rush” breathlessly heaps a gift that keeps on giving, satisfying, expunging all the “two -star” films of the past several months.
THREE & 1/2 SRARS!!!