MOVIE REVIEW – I don’t know exactly how well Hollywood is dealing with the issue of “new ideas.” It seems like there are 150 remakes every year and hundreds of movies that give us cinematic deja vu. By that, I mean, we watch a lot of movies feeling like we have seen the same thing before. Originality is becoming something of a rarity. For now, Hollywood can lean on the shoulder of comic books, which seems to be a safe haven for box office success.
When I saw the promotional material for “Premium Rush,” my first reaction was “Is this Fast and the Furious on bikes?” I couldn’t take it seriously and was shocked that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon lent their talents to the starring roles. The more trailers, TV spots, and posters I saw, the more it intrigued me, to the point where I was actually anticipating this movie.
Lo and behold, I did see it this weekend. So how did it hold up? I’m glad you asked.
Premium Rush is the story of a young New York City bike messenger named Wiley (Gordon-Levitt), who gets his thrills from weaving in and out of rush hour traffic at high speeds on his fixed gear bike. One day he is sent out on a delivery run. After picking up the package, he is confronted by an aggressive thug who insists that Wiley give him the package. Wiley sticks to his company policy and makes it his duty to get this package delivered safely and on time. After being pursued all day, Wiley begins to question his own safety and wonders what he is really carrying.
The story opens with our hero giving a bit of a profile on himself; after that, the plot picks up quite quickly. I was satisfied with how quickly this film got into the action. It did an effective job of introducing all the characters without wasting too much screen time.
The feel of this movie reminded me a lot of Zombieland. Premium Rush used a lot of computer graphics to stylize the story in a way that was effective and entertaining. Also, it was a movie that didn’t take itself too seriously. I know that sounds like a con, but that’s the reason Zombieland was so successful. It wasn’t a scary zombie movie, it was a comedy and instead of taking it so seriously, they had fun with it.
But no movie is perfect. Except for GoodFellas.
There are a lot of elements of the story that require an open mind. I like to think I have a pretty open mind, but there are still things that bugged me.
First, the story loses its realism due to the fact that the events in this movie seem to have no repercussions. For that reason, I think it would be impossible for a sequel to happen. It’s better to just walk away and assume everyone lives happily ever after.
Also, the love story was quite weak and unrealistic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is usually quite the charmer, but in Premium Rush he seems to put no effort into his relationships.
At the end of the day, Premium Rush finds a way to keep the excitement and laughs flowing. It’s definitely not your average “chase” movie, but that may be the beauty of it.
The De La Cruz Designation: 3 pops out of 5
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