September 18, 2012

MOVIES: Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012)

Premium Rush is an tidy, efficient little movie which generates thrills in a relatively realistic fashion, which is to say that nothing blows up the whole way through
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee, a Manhattan bike messenger. He's just trying to make his last delivery of the day, but dirty cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) wants the package that Wilee's carrying, and doesn't much care what he has to do to get it.

The movie bogs down a bit whenever it gets too involved in the actual plot -- it would have been better to simply let the package be a pure McGuffin instead of explaining it -- but the bike/chase scenes are exciting, and beautifully photographed so that you often feel as if you're zipping through the city streets yourself.

The movie doesn't call for any heavy lifting in the acting department, but Gordon-Levitt's earnest confusion and panic are entertaining and convincing, and Shannon is gloriously over the top as the bad guy, hamming it up in grand style.

Hollywood movies usually come in only two levels of action: zero and mega-franchise-explode-a-rama. This movie strikes a pleasant middle ground. It's not trying to dazzle you with insane levels of gratuitous violence or ginormous explosions, but it does exactly what it sets out to do, and it's a lot of fun.

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