First off, Writer/Director David Koepp seems to have an abundance of Asian racial epithets to dispense for almost no reason whatsoever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bicyclist delivery boy that is so tired of wearing a suit and attending law school that he prefers to earn $50 a day while risking his life. His job is to deliver packages throughout Manhattan on a specially dismembered bike that contains no brakes and special features to enhance its flexibility and speed. His girlfriend, Dania Ramirez (the hot Latina from Entourage), is concerned about their future together because he lacks ambition and lives on the wild side. She is being pursued by fellow cyclist Wole Perks. Ramirez's roommate is played by Korean actress Jamie Chung. Jamie is in great danger because she is trying to purchase an entry visa for her son. When she lived in China, the journalist wrote articles in support of Tibetan independence. This caused the Chinese government to restrict her son's legitimate means of travel. In order to deliver her son safely through the proper channels she must have a ticket that identifies her cash payment to some sinister people.
An NYPD police officer is concurrently in massive debt on account of his gambling habit. He is offered the opportunity to repay his massive losses should he choose to steal Jamie Chung's ticket and deliver it to his mobster bookies. This is where Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez's characters come in to play. He is tasked with delivering the ticket during the premium rush hour. Along the way he is harassed, chased and nearly killed by the rogue NYPD officer. To add some measure of humor a cyclist cop on road patrol duty is also chasing after him. There are a great number of twists and turns, split second decisions, and interesting venues for their bike chases.
Premium Rush as a movie is sufficient, mediocre, and lightly entertaining. It is an admirable attempt at presenting something new. Just watch, there will be ten DVDs about bicyclists chasing each other for money or drugs. The officer is played by Michael Shannon who has always done a wonderful job of playing the role of the mentally unstable peripheral character. In Premium Rush he is front and center and psychotic as can be. Joseph Gordon-Levitt very well could have jumped into the hearts of all film-goers but with Premium Rush he dropped the ball. Though he looked to be in insane shape and certainly has talent, the film is not memorable for anything other than its attempt to be that bike movie. Oh well, here's hoping Batman's Robin can become a megastar the next time around. Beep beep.
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