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Premium Rush - 20/9/2012 1:10:16 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Premium Rush - 20/9/2012 1:10:16 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1054
Joined: 30/9/2005
Very slight spoilers.

I think 3 stars is about right for this (maybe even 2).

Caught this yesterday afternoon, after deciding to see it over Total Recall. It's an OK movie, but nothing to write home about. The film zips along fine enough, but it's let down by a pretty mundane script at times, and I'm not sure about the over-use Wilee's foresight's into the future when faced with busy traffic junctions (whilst the scenarios are entertaining enough, it gets a little old).

Michael Shannon's bent cop is a ludicrously pantomime performance, and most of the spporting players are pretty forgettable. If anything, it did make me want to hop on a bike after seeing it and go hell-for-leather on some busy city streets.

< Message edited by Filmfan 2 -- 20/9/2012 1:11:39 PM >

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Post #: 2
RE: Premium Rush - 20/9/2012 5:33:15 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4038
Joined: 19/10/2005
Among the bike couriers in New York City, no one is more determined and reckless than Wilee, an ex-law student more comfortable on his brakeless bike than in a suit. One day, a Chinese foreign student named Nima arranges for him to deliver a vital envelope across the city. Unfortunately, a crooked cop, Det. Robert Monday, has a desperate need for that envelope himself and won’t take “No” for an answer. Now, Wilee finds himself relentlessly pursued by Monday and others in a situation becoming more complicated and dangerous by the minute. Together with his friends and rivals, Wilee must discover the secret of this dangerous delivery and make it through a gauntlet that will require all his cunning, daring and courage to survive……



Premium Rush shouldn’t really be very good. As well as featuring a type of vehicle that hardly has much potential for excitement, it also appears to celebrate a type of person whom anyone who has driven a car has probably wanted to kill at one time or another; that particular breed of cyclist who rides through red lights, disrupts pedestrians on pavements and takes the view that other people should get out of their way. However, David Koepp, a decent scriptwriter who has turned director, can usually be relied on to turn out a decent film, and Premium Rush is certainly that, if nothing special really. It moves at a terrific pace and its story is told quite interestingly, while its brief running time ensures that the piece has no fat and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

It opens, as it mostly continues with, some frantic bike-dashing, and I found it very hard to like these speed-crazy cretins who compete to see who can deliver a package fast enough and think they own the streets. In particular, our hero Wilie is an arrogant idiot, though my dislike of him might be increased by the fact that I have never warmed to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and think he is better in supporting roles than as a leading man; I’m probably in the minority though. Still, the action continues with a fine chase involving two bikes and a car, and though it carries on pretty much in the same way it doesn’t get boring. Koepp knows how to increase the excitement of action through lots of camera angles and in particular a camera following right behind the action, and he also rarely goes for that shakycam/ fast edit/ random close-up crap that plagues action cinema today. There is an escape in a factory that has some superb stunt work, and Koepp enhances all this stuff with some cool directorial touches, such as showing differing potential routes with yellow arrows pointing the way and even showing what might possibly go wrong. When Willie sees himself and other people including even a baby possibly dead as a result of his actions, you know what that film has taken on a slightly more responsible strain.

Much of the film’s story is told non-chronologically in a manner not unlike Reservoir Dogs, though for a while it almost comes across as a variation on those old Burt Reynolds car chase movies like Smokey And The Bandit, replete with a cop constantly trying to catch our hero and constantly failing, and all the hero’s workmates available to help out when they are needed. A third of the way through the film starts to periodically flash back to the story behind the package that Wilie is carrying and that everyone is after, and it’s an absorbing and even touching tale involving a pretty Chinese woman and her young boy. There’s much emphasis on Bobby Monday, the cop after Wilie, and he provides some violence that, along with some mild swearing, almost seems out of place in this good natured flick and could probably have been taken out. However, the movie does adopt a darker tone as it develops and Koepp just about manages the subtle shifts in tone well, though many of the performances are uneven. In particular, Michael Shannon as Bobby almost seems to go out of control.

The film is never dull though and almost becomes on the verge of becoming exhilarating at times. Along with some decent laughs are some solid bits of suspense. Premium Rush never seems to even to try to be a ‘great’ action movie and its lack of pretention is refreshing. I have a feeling that I’ll forget most of this unashamedly empty picture in a week’s time, but I did have fun watching it and I forgot at times that I really didn’t like a lot of the stupid idiots in it. As for Wilie, he doesn’t seem to learnt much by the end, but you know what, I rather liked the lack of moralisation as the film concluded.

Rating: 6.5/10

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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

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Post #: 3
RE: Premium Rush - 21/9/2012 10:51:53 AM   
Wild about Wilder


Posts: 1684
Joined: 9/4/2010
From: Hertfordshire
What should've been rubbish was lifted by the excellent 2 leads Levitt & the ever watchable Shannon who I still say is the most intense performer on screen today.
I think 3 stars is a fair summary.

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Post #: 4
It is what it is - 5/3/2013 12:11:01 AM   
RyanShanks

 

Posts: 38
Joined: 3/1/2012
From: Nottingham
3 stars is, sometimes, seen like a blemish. But for a film like this, 3 stars really is its fulfilling all its potential - in a good way. Some films just can't be classed as 4 or 5 stars, not because they aren't good enough, but because they aren't worthy or serious enough. In a just world, there'd be a pound-for-pound Predator/Citizen Kane ratio scale, to bring balance to the force between art and entertainment. Premium Rush is certainly not the Citizen Kane of thrill rides, but it might be fair to put it in a bracket with Point Break and co as a brighter-than-usual light among the unworthy unwashed hedonists behind summer cinema.

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Post #: 5
RE: It is what it is - 21/3/2013 9:59:06 PM   
Emyr Thy King


Posts: 2180
Joined: 13/4/2006
From: The Grid
I think 3 stars is a fair rating. To me the film is really an A-Z 'on-the-go' app for Manhattan with a story that's fairly incidental but an enjoyable part of the proceedings nonetheless. As it's been covered, JGL plays a courier called 'Wilee' (although really a Road Runner but nevermind) who has to deliver one last package before the end of shift but a bent copper who's in financial trouble wants it to pay off the debt he owes to the local Triads. I have to say the characterisation and script is a bit light with a few flash-forward/flash-back cuts to try and add some character backstory but they feel more like interruptions rather than useful exposition as there's no real need to know a lot about the characters other than perhaps Nima (Jamie Leung). The film peddles forward at a fairly brisk pace and at least the story doesn't linger too much on one spot. Indeed, I think the director's tried to capture the rush hour feel of New York with the on-the-go sort of pace of the film and it shows in how quickly the story moves on. JGL is reliable as ever and I think he proves he can lead a film as with 500 Days.., the other actors don't really have much except Michael Shannon who pretty much eats up the scenery and spits it out like an angry New York cabbie. I think he'll either be entertaining for some or just slightly over-dialled on the 'crazy-meter' for others. It does border on the pantomime, particularly with his final line: "Hey! You know what, I'm done" but perhaps he intended to overplay it just to give us a cardboard cut-out villain. The bits where Wilee plots out how to weave through pedestrians and cars via those big arrows was quite entertaining and a little bit macabre (in a good way!). I thought the secondary plot between Manny and Wilee was a bit forced and needn't been there. As I alluded before, I think the film could've trimmed that sort of thing and just focused on Wilee, Nima and Detective Monday. Still, it's quite an entertaining cycle romp with some nicely choreographed chase scenes but like the fixed-gear ('fixie') bike in the film, it doesn't peddle into high gear.

_____________________________

"This whole imbroglio is epiphenomenal"...."demigogic faux egalitarianism" - Will Self

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Post #: 6
THREE STARS! - 23/3/2013 2:30:05 PM   
chrisdagnall

 

Posts: 89
Joined: 10/9/2008
THE EMPIRE REVIEW IS RIGHT....THE ENDING IS A LITTLE ON THE NASTY SIDE, AND OUT OF KEEPING WITH THE LIGHT TONE PRESENT THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE MOVIE.....GREAT CHASE SCENES THOUGH, AND N YORK LOOKS FANTASTIC (BEST CITY IN THE WORLD!)...

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Post #: 7
Shannon = extra star - 16/6/2013 12:24:17 AM   
Nicky C

 

Posts: 703
Joined: 31/5/2006
Like candy floss, it's a bright, jovial piece of fluff but it's fun while you're eating it. If you're a fan of Shannon then watch it immediately because his performance is an absolute masterclass in just how an actor's commitment to character and tone can solidify a story and bring the whole thing to life. A dash too much in either direction between cartoonish energy or desperate malice and the whole thing would fall on it's ass ... but he hits it just right in every scene and he's utterly compelling throughout. Shannon and JGL elevate what should be a piece of crap to a movie I'm glad I saw. No wonder they're both in such high demand.

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Post #: 8
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