In Premium Rush we see Joseph Gordon-Levitt – the rising star who previously passed by in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Looper – as Wilee, an adrenaline-junkie who earns his living by delivering packages all over New York with a bike that doesn’t even have brakes (true “death traps” according to Wilee). As he tries to get his relationship with colleague Vanessa back on the rails, he gets tasked to deliver an enveloppe somewhere in Chinatown but what he doesn’t know is that this enveloppe contains a ticket worth 50.000 dollar.
Meanwhile we also meet detective Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) who’s gotten into trouble with the Chinese mob due to his gambling addition and as solution to his money troubles is asked to get this ticket to his creditors. What Monday sees as an easy job quickly becomes a devilish assignment as he finds out Wilee takes his job very seriously and just doesn’t give his packages to anyone. The result is a hectic race through the streets of Manhattan with a stake that’s higher than both men initially thought.
The story of Premium Rush is as such very simple but director David Koepp succeeds to put multiple layers in it and by regularly going back from the action towards a flashback and showing certain scenes from different points of view things do get deeper than initially imagined. Thanks to the skillful filming where the chase gets shown very well and also times is taken to bring forth a couple of funny situations Premium Rush succeeds to become just a bit more than a cheap snack. The good acting by both Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon gives some added credibility to the characters and makes that the movies feels as more than a live action version of a Roadrunner vs Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
Premium Rush is not a high class movie, but skillfully made and easily digestable entertainment with which you can easily lay back on your seat and pause your brain. And such movies – when made well – are something we can definitely appreciate!
Image and sound in Premium Rush can easily be called excellent. The colors are vibrant but natural, the contrast is as it should be and the detail is perfect. Also the sound is top notch with good use of the surround speakers for effects and background noise like the traffic in Manhattan while you never have any issue understanding the dialogues.
Qua extras we get a behind the scenes in which we see how the stunts were created and where CGI was used, and next to that there’s also a promotional feature where cast & crew get to say their thing about their work and the movie. The two features are good for about 20 minutes of extra material.