110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Rated PG-13 for language and violence
posted Aug 31, 2012 - 2:32:32pm
Premium Rush is your cool uncle who gives you your desert without supper – but only afterward do you realize a bit of broccoli would have made the rest of the experience that much sweeter.
That is to say, Premium Rush is exactly what it looks like: A fun, frenetic film that tries to turn bike messengers into everyman action heroes. Fun and frenetic this movie is, but writer/director David Koepp banks too much on his audience’s ability to suspend its disbelief about bike messengers: This film speaks to the young, CrossFit-loving, X Games-watching, Mtn. Dew-swilling youth that exists as a relative footnote to a much broader, more traditional, if modernized, audience.
Premium Rush is an action movie about bike courier Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing fixed-gear bike stunts around New York City while trying to deliver a time-sensitive package worth $50,000. Meanwhile, a corrupt cop named Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) hunts him down in an attempt to confiscate said package to pay off his recently incurred gambling debts.
There’s more to it than that, but it all seems superfluous, serving to add a murky sort of context to what otherwise is one of the summer’s most fun movies. It’s little more than a classic chase film, which Koepp never lets us forget: Gordon-Levitt’s character’s name is Wilee, like the notorious Coyote (only this time, he’s the chased and not the chaser).
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
But forget about the convoluted, forced story. If you’re going to see Premium Rush, you already know its plot is just an excuse to get from awesome bike stunt A to awesome bike stunt B. And the icing on top of the frantic action and crazy pacing is the film’s visual effects, which are some of the most unique of the year: Rather than jump cuts from place to place, Koepp often employs a three-dimensional zoom-in/zoom-out of New York City that allows scenes to shift with no momentum being lost.
Premium Rush is a strange type of movie, not very good by any definition, but it accomplishes being so in an utterly forgivable way. Two or three days after you leave the theater, you might not remember the plot’s finer details (and I use the term “finer” very loosely), but you’ll certainly remember the experience, the effects and the stunts. That’s kind of the point.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 2 stars, 4 popcorn.
— Hunter serves as editor-in-chief for movie-review website Stars and Popcorn. To learn more about Stars and Popcorn, visit www.starsandpopcorn.com. Send e-mail to Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for Premium Rush
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