Pedal Power!


PREMIUM RUSH (2012) Director: David Koepp Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung, Wole Parks  Rating: PG-13 for violence, language, and guys on bikes breaking traffic laws willy nilly with the speeding and the driving on the sidewalk…

According to the opening narration of Premium Rush, there are 1,500 bicycle messengers in New York City, and speaking as a former New Yorker who was nearly run over more times than he can remember by these two wheeled hotdogs, I’d say that number is probably right.

Day in and day out these fingerless glove wearing warriors zip through heavy traffic on their beat up cycles, delivering important documents across town because E-mail, instant messaging, the USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex are for bike hating squares!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper) stars as Wilee, a guy who dropped out of law school to be a bike messenger because lawyers have to wear suits and aren’t allowed to ride bikes in the courtroom. He’s having a bad day because things with his on again/off again girlfriend Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) are off again and another messenger named Manny (Wole Parks) is trying to take away Wilee’s title of most awesome bike messenger in the history of forever.

Wilee is dispatched to Columbia University to pick up a very important envelope from Vanessa’s roommate Nima and deliver it to Chinatown right away because it’s very important to the plot and we won’t find out why until later in the movie. Unfortunately the envelope is also wanted by oily NYPD detective Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon with a fierce New Yawk accent) for reasons we will also learn about later in the movie, but not as later as Nima’s thing.

The race is on as Monday chases Wilee through the streets to get his hands on the envelope. But Monday soon finds out his career as a corrupt cop is not all fun and games because Wilee (who as we know is the most awesome bike messenger in the history of forever) is able to elude him with his slick riding skills and total disregard for the safety of every pedestrian and motorist in the greater New York area.  Things get even more complicated when Vanessa, Manny, and the entire NYPD get in on the fun. Can Wilee get the super important envelope to Chinatown by 7PM and collect the thirty dollars he’ll get for the delivery?

That’s right. He’s risking his life for thirty bucks. Probably should have stayed in law school there Wilee.

Premium Rush is a slickly made film with plenty of thrills and breakneck stunts. Oh, and pedaling. Lots and lots of pedaling. How much pedaling? Compared with other bicycle themed movies, Premium Rush has more pedaling than American Flyers, but not as much pedaling as Breaking Away.  

But wait, how much pedaling does Premium Rush have compared to the other big screen movie about bike messengers – the 1986 Kevin Bacon drama Quicksilver?

I’d say the advantage goes to Premium Rush. Man, I’m so glad I spent years taking carefully detailed notes on how much pedaling is in every movie that featured bicycles and bicycle riding. It finally paid off. Awesome.




About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy!

Posted on April 14, 2013, in Action Movies, DVD, Humor, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, New York City, Reviews, Thrillers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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