Action flick “Premium Rush” speeds into theaters

Joseph Gordon-Levitts newest movie, "Premium Rush" hit theaters on August 24. Credit: Columbia Pictures

Karina Schink

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s newest movie, “Premium Rush” hit theaters on August 24. Credit: Columbia Pictures

Most of us are accustomed to sitting down in the movie theater, seeing the Columbia woman hold her torch, and beginning the cinematic adventure of whatever movie you happen to be viewing by being slowly introduced into the plot.

Premium Rush” does not follow this normality. The movie begins in media res with Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s character, Wilee, being flung in slow motion over the screen. Is he dead? Did someone hit him? Is this how the movie will end? We don’t know.

From there, the movie goes forward and backward in time, slowly connecting the plot piece by piece. It’s risky to begin a movie in the middle, but “Premium Rush” pulls it off.

Viewers will be instantly hooked with questions about who this seemingly dead man is and how he was hurt. The plot is addictive – stereotypical and overdone – but addictive.

Wilee, a Manhattan bicycle mail carrier who doesn’t believe in brakes, gets himself involved in a mad race for money. Though the idea of having a movie take place almost entirely on a bike is fresh, the plot is still generic.

Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon portray the protagonist and antagonist, and their performances create a firm ground for the film to stand on. Gordon-Levitt does a phenomenal job at playing an adrenaline junkie who lets out a giggle every time his tricks anger a pedestrian or cab driver. Shannon does an equally extraordinary job portraying an NYPD deputy with severe anger issues and a maniacal laugh that sends chills down anyone’s spine.

Other actors’ performances fall short and take away from the movie.

Dania Ramierez portrays a woman named Vanessa, Wilee’s love interest, but for a woman who has starred in productions such as “X-Men” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” her performance lacked emotion.

The same issue was present with Jamie Chung’s performance as the timid and distressed Nima. Though her character is supposed to be scared and even a little pathetic, there are times in the movie when depth of character would have been a relief to the audience.

Overall, “Premium Rush” is a good movie. It’s not bad, but it’s not great. Any bike enthusiast will surely enjoy the tricks and excellently performed stunts. Ladies will enjoy Gordon-Levitt’s charming character and men will find interest in the action and suspense.

“Premium Rush” may not be an Academy Award winner, but it is certainly worth $10 and two hours of your time.

What do you think?