Time to Ride
Former law student, Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Inception) decided a life in a suit was not for him and instead became one of the 1,500 bike couriers who fly through the streets of Manhattan on their brakeless bikes, delivering packages and enjoying the rush as well as the freedom their job rewards them with. On this day he finds himself picking up an envelope from his old college but immediately finds himself being hounded by Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon - Mud) a corrupt NY detective who wants the envelope which Wilee has and will run him off the road if need be.
"Premium Rush" starts with a scene of Wilee flying through the air having been hit by a car, the clock then rolls back 93 minutes and we get a snapshot of his life as a bike courier, always thinking several moves ahead when it comes to junctions, taxis, parked cars and pesky pedestrians. We also get a snapshot of his personal life, rivalry with another rider as well as less than smooth love life. All of which culminates with him picking up the package and being hounded by a guy in a car. We eventually discover the guy is a cop with a gambling addiction and problems, all told via a snappy flashback. I tell you all this because this snappy flashback style to explain the story is how "Premium Rush" works, explaining how Wilee came to be flying through the air in the opening scene of the movie.
And it has to be said that the styling is effective as we have a ticking clock, lots of flashy bike riding, danger and a series of revelations which makes the simple premise of a courier chased by a dirty cop a lot more intriguing. You do begin to wonder where this is all going to go or maybe that should be; where did it all start as we discover the contents of the envelope and its significance. But we also get elements which cross over as we discover the woman Wilee picked the envelope up from happens to be the room mate of his girlfriend of sorts. We also get scenes which cross over as we get them from different view points. Okay so this is not the most original of ideas, the whole interweaving crossing over storylines shown from different view points but it is used nicely here to bring entertainment to the movie.
Of course there is a little matter of "Premium Rush" being a movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and this very much plays on his likeable nature and that aspect of being a little cheeky. But it isn't just Gordon-Levitt which has a touch of cheeky about him as the whole movie has some tongue in cheek elements especially when it comes to the rivalry between Wilee and another courier giving us a ridiculous bike race in the park which then becomes a ridiculous street pursuit involving a bicycle cop.
What this all boils down to is that "Premium Rush" is a lot of snappy, bike riding fun with an entertaining crime story tossed in there. In truth it doesn't have a lot of depth but it is the sort of snappy entertainment which if you were to come across on TV one night whilst channel surfing you might end up watching again.