WEATHER »
<em>Premium Rush</em>

Premium Rush


Premium Rush

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, and Dania Ramirez star in a film written by David Koepp and John Kamps and directed by Koepp.


It’s never a good sign when a bad guy seems infinitely more interesting than the hero, but that’s the clear case with Premium Rush. The great, nicely demented Michael (Take Shelter) Shannon doesn’t so much chew the scenery away from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who tries hard to seem like a hipster bicyclist with principles; it’s that Shannon’s crooked cop seems to belong in this environment, while Gordon-Levitt’s bike messenger feels made up in Hollywood to please “the kids.”

Good intentions litter the road of this fairly decent thriller. The bicycle is a nice green alternative to exploding muscle cars — it even works as a metaphor for the freedom and the ultimate vulnerability we all experience in traffic. It’s a perfect vehicle for lo-fi thrills, too — you won’t break a Hollywood budget crashing bicycles. And then there’s writer/director David Koepp (Jurassic Park screenwriter), who has enough savvy to steal directly from Hitchcock and get away with it. Our main character is chased by both ruthless bad guys and unheeding police, and Koepp ups the ante by making them both at times the same creepy character.

Still, Premium Rush seems to be pedaling uphill in the wrong gear. Though some early scenes of Gordon-Levitt zipping through Manhattan traffic show promise, Koepp keeps gumming up the purity of his concept with fancy-shmancy CGI shots, just to keep reinforcing how wily our dull protagonist is. (He’s not.) Shannon’s runaway id is much more fun to watch, but even his bad lieutenant doesn’t make us feel the danger. Now my only concern is for the kids who think this kind of weaving through traffic would be cool to try in my neighborhood.

For showtimes, check the Independent's movie listings, here.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Carousel House Now for Rent

The iconic octagon is available for parties and classes.

‘Fess Parker’ Name Dropped from Santa Barbara Waterfront Hotel

Change to Hilton Santa Barbara said to help the hotel reach a broader demographic.

Nicholas Kristof Hashes Out How To Help

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author joined local nonprofits to talk global development.

Pile Burn Season Raises Alarms

Uptick in citizen emergency calls upon viewing smoke and fire.

Jon Peterson Departs Habitat for Humanity

Takes a post with Covenant Trust Company of Chicago.