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Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Dania Ramirez
Michael Shannon
Jamie Chung.
David Koepp.
John Kamps
David Koepp.
Running Time
91 minutes

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Premium Rush
Kid on a bike

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Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) is a bicycle courier on the wild streets of Manhattan. Just as his working day’s about to end he’s assigned one more urgent package to deliver. But this package is also wanted by Bobby (Shannon), a man who will resort to anything to get what’s inside.

Premium Rush
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The greatest challenge of Premium Rush is that its heroes are the sort of people whose deaths drivers and pedestrians alike quietly, guiltily plot as they disobey every rule of the road and run through red lights as if they were a suggestion. They are bicycle couriers, young people to whom speed limits are a challenge and pedestrians something to be mown down for points.

Yet you do warm to them. Or more specifically, you warm to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays Wilee, a rider who doesn’t believe in brakes and has been trusted with delivering a package that contains something of great importance and secrecy. Wilee’s name should give you a good idea of the tone of the film. At one point someone even asks, “Wilee? Like the coyote?” Yes, just like Looney Tunes. This all plays like a cartoon: incredibly simple on plot, even if it does try to make it seem more complex by jumping around with flashbacks; extremely fast-paced; and with characters who are all very definitely good guys or bad guys.

Wilee, of course, is not actually the coyote; he is the Road Runner.The coyote to Wilee’s... weird blue bird is Michael Shannon as Bobby, a man trying to intercept the package in order to get himself out of a very sticky and probably very fatal situation. Bobby is the sort of dedicated, enthusiastically evil villain you’d typically find tying damsels to train tracks. Shannon squeezes everything out of it, hitting a good 7 on the Wheel-O-Crazy (Nicolas Cage in anything since about 2005 being the perfect 10). In almost any other movie it would be too much, but here it’s just right. It is a joy to despise him.

David Koepp moves everything thrillingly. About 90 per cent of scenes take place in excess of the speed limit, weaving perilously through Manhattan’s notoriously lawless streets. There are huge holes in its logic, but to poke around in these holes would be to overthink something that demands none. However, having kept everything so light, Koepp makes an odd choice in the ending. It’s out of step with the tone of everything that’s gone before; not enough to spoil it, but still needlessly vicious. When the ride finally comes to a halt, nobody wants it to be with a jolting crash.

A movie that while thin and silly, moves with such joyous speed that you almost want to throw your arms in the air and scream.

Reviewed by Olly Richards

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Average user rating for Premium Rush
Empire Star Rating

Shannon = extra star

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 compe... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Nicky C at 00:24, 16 June 2013 | Report This Post



Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 14:30, 23 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: It is what it is

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... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 21:59, 21 March 2013 | Report This Post

It is what it is

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 fai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RyanShanks at 00:11, 05 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Premium Rush

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. ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 10:51, 21 September 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Premium Rush

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 mo... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 17:33, 20 September 2012 | Report This Post

Premium Rush

ight spoilers. think 3 stars is about right for this (maybe even 2). Caught this yesterday afternoon, after deciding to see it over ecallan 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 ludic... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 13:10, 20 September 2012 | Report This Post

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