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Overall Rating
4

Awesome: 28%
Worth A Look56%
Average: 8%
Pretty Bad: 4%
Total Crap: 4%

3 reviews, 7 user ratings


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Premium Rush
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Gear High"
4 stars

Coming as it does at the end of a particularly undistinguished summer with an uber-generic title and a premise that makes it seem like nothing so much as a contemporary revival of the long-forgotten Kevin Bacon epic "Quicksilver," most people who find themselves slinking into "Premium Rush" will probably be doing so under the impression that they are merely getting one of the last major summer craptaculars out of the way before they shift into the more serious fall movie mode in order to properly receive the likes of "The Master" and "Resident Evil 5." Hell, that was exactly the mood that I was in when I sat down to watch it (one somewhat exacerbated by the fact that I had just finished watching the singularly odd "Cosmopolis" beforehand) and as a result, I was more than a little taken aback but just how enjoyable it turned out to be after all. This may not be a great movie in the sense that "Tree of Life" is a great movie but it is an undeniably great entertainment--a shot of cinematic adrenaline that will leave you nearly breathless with excitement while watching it and send you out into the parking lot with a goofy grin of pure pleasure pasted on your face

Set over the course of one late and traffic-clogged afternoon in New York City (I perversely found myself imagining the events of "Cosmopolis"occurring just a couple of blocks over, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the appropriately-named Wiley, a bike messenger who prefers swerving the streets at breakneck speeds on his brakeless bike to the idea of passing the bar exam or working in an office. One day, he is hired to pick up an envelope from a nearby university and deliver it to an address in Chinatown by no later than 7:00 P.M. He hasn't even left the school when he is stopped by a professor (Michael Shannon) who demands the return of the envelope. Wiley refuses and takes off on his mission with the other guy following in hot pursuit. Without giving too much away, the "professor" isn't quite who he claims to be (as some movie buffs will no doubt detect when he identifies himself) and the contents of what Wiley is carrying aren't exactly what they seem to be either. Nevertheless, Wiley is determined to do his job and as the afternoon wears on, he finds himself being pursued by the mysterious guy, an equally obsessed bike cop and a fellow messenger () who wants to make the delivery himself just to one-up his co-worker. The only person in his corner is Vanessa (Daniela Ramirez), his ex-girlfriend and fellow courier and her assistance seems to come less from any linger affection (at first) than from the fact that she is the one inadvertently responsible for the whole mess in the first place.


"Hit & Run" was co-written and directed by David Koepp, who has worked with such master filmmakers as Steven Spielberg (the first two "Jurassic Park" films and the most recent Indiana Jones epic), Brian De Palma ("Carlito's Way," "Mission: Impossible" and "Snake Eyes") and David Fincher ("Panic Room") and it is to Koepp's credit that I cannot imagine any of them improving on what he has done here. The screenplay is a clever construction that often jumps back in time at crucial points to supply us with key bits of information and while that approach can get very irritating in the wrong hands, Koepp uses it judiciously and fairly in ways that help break up the possible monotony of the whole film just being one long chase without ruing the headlong momentum. Cinematically, it is a thrill to behold--I have no idea what combination of CGI effects, stunt riders and moments featuring the real actors were utilized to come up with the final product but for the most part, the thing looks fairly seamless and it often appears as if it really is Joseph Gordon-Levitt flying in and out of traffic in moves that, despite the presumed precautions, still had to have some kind of danger to them. (At least one did, as you will discover in a bit of icky behind-the-scenes footage included as a cookie during the end credits.) Koepp also knows that a good thriller often lives or dies on the quality of its villain and in the Michael Shannon character, it has a memorable one indeed. To reveal who he is or why he is pursuing Wiley would fall into spoiler category but if you can imagine a less pervy version of the Harvey Keitel character from "The Bad Lieutenant," you are on the right track. Combine that with Shannon's genuinely hilarious performance--an inspired bit of weirdness straight out of the Christopher Walken playbook--and you have a bad guy who is so much fun to watch that some of you may find yourselves cheering for him instead of the nominal hero.
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Once upon a time, Hollywood used to crank out smart, snappy entertainments at the flick of a wrist and even the B-level studios could be counted on to crank out the occasional bit of awesomeness with a minimum of muss in fuss. In recent years, however, most filmmakers seem to have lost their way in this regard and most of the thrillers that do emerge these days are too long, too overly encumbered with wild plot twists that appear to be designed to distract from the fact that nothing makes much sense and tend to spend the last 10 minutes or so laboriously setting up sequels that may or may never actually get produced. "Premium Rush," happily enough, is a throwback to the good old days--it is done in 91 minutes and does not overstay its welcome for even a fraction of a second, it tells a refreshingly straightforward story and the occasional narrative gymnastics that are deployed enhance rather than distract from the proceedings and it all wraps up in the tidiest manner imaginable. Smart, funny and thrilling in equal measures, this is the kind of crackerjack summer entertainment that film fans have been clamoring for and the only down side is that they had to wait practically the entire summer for it to finally arrive

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=21437&reviewer=389
originally posted: 08/24/12 15:21:07
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User Comments

6/13/14 PAUL SHORTT FUN, FAST-PACED CHASE THRILLER, WITH LIKEABLE PERFORMANCES 3 stars
8/27/13 Simon Recipe for a no-complaints thriller - tight, clever, gripping, amusing, and well-acted 5 stars
1/06/13 mr.mike It was "no bad". 4 stars
8/29/12 Delcia Pena The movie was alright. 3 stars
8/29/12 Pedro Rafael Cruz Fast as Hell-Loved it! 4 stars
8/28/12 Apollo It has all the right elements but ... not good. 1 stars
8/28/12 Jeff Lee No need to Rush to see this flick 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Aug-2012 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2012

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Aug-2012
  DVD: 18-Dec-2012




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