What the “Fast and the Furious” franchise did for cars, “Premium Rush” will have the same impact upon bicycles and its riders – the bike messengers.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Wilee, one of the 1,500 bike messengers of New York City navigating the streets delivering packages when E-mails, faxes and delivery vans just won’t suffice.
Wilee is the fastest carrier in the city as the audience marvels at how he navigates the streets during rush hour in order to ensure that the packages gets to its intended recipient.
His characters shows potential off the wheels with his quick thinking as he makes decision instantaneously in avoiding cars and pedestrians while on the go and never stopping at any costs. This is done with effects as the film slows down and portrays possible scenarios if he makes the wrong choice.
The film gets the viewers close to the streets as possible with its close up of the man and his bicycle, which meshes as one, as he weaves in and out of tight corners, making last-minute decision with life or death consequences..
What starts out as a normal routine with Wilee picking up a package from Nima (Jamie Chung) turns into a chaotic hour as he must get his package delivered within time. The content of the package leads him to being chased by an N.Y.P.D. officer Robert Monday (Michael Shannon) who is on his tracks.
While worrying about the law enforcement, his personal life is on the mends with his relationship with Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), a fellow messenger at the same company.
If Monday serves as an external foe for Wilee then his internal rival is Manny (Wolé Parks), another rider within the company who serves as a foe that steals his gigs, pines after his girl and title of best biker.
Wilee's a character that is close to the edge as possible as a non-believer of brakes, gears, but at least he adheres to the safety of wearing a bike helmet. His dare-devil persona is what attracts him to Vanessa but as well as riders that loathe him: Monday, Manny and the N.Y.P.D.
The characters are all connected one way or another that leads to the finale of the film. The story isn’t the main focus of the film but the bike choreographs action sequences. To see these actors all in high pursuit from the police is a sight whether on and off the road, through tight quarters and through difficult paths of the streets, neighborhoods and park.
The film's usage of G.P.S. to show the difficulty of getting from one part of the city to another shows the circumstances and the condition these bike messengers must be in order to get onto the street and pedal with all their might while meeting an intended time to ensure for delivery.
The story of why a police officer is hell bent on stealing a bike messenger package doesn’t quite play out after all the events are explained during the hour of the day in flashbacks, current time and progressing time.
It’s foreseen that there will be opportunities for sequels whether it’s with the same or different characters, the setting and upping the intensity and the adrenaline to see what other death-defying moves that an individual and bicycle can achieve and accomplish.
Classification: New Blu-Ray Release
Movie Grade: 4 stars out of 5 stars.
The close-up reactions of seeing bicycles in motion while navigating rush hour and the streets of New York City is alone worth the investment as bikes are taken on and off-road.
Blu-Ray Grade: 3 stars out of 5 stars
- “The Starting Line”
- “Behind the Wheels”
Standard commentary from director, writer and actors of the film explaining their process in the making of the film, but the movie does give nods to the little-known community of bike messengers.
Rating: PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language
Timing: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes
Genre: Action, Thriller.