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Premium Rush
Click for full sized poster

Premium Rush

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Wolé Parks
Screenplay by David Koepp and John Kamps
Directed by David Koepp
website: http://www.premiumrush.com/site/

IN SHORT: Surprisingly fun . [Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language. 91 minutes]

As you will learn early on in Premium Rush, there are 1500 bike messengers running roughshod over the island of Manhattan. They are necessary to deliver the packages or documents or whatever that cannot be emailed and are too important for overnight mail or delivery by a uniformed service like UPS or FedEx, what have you. In other words . . .

When you have to get something from here to there and can't dispatch an intern to ride the subway and walk a couple of blocks, (you) can hire a bike messenger to terrorize the citizenry of New York. That is, essentially, what bike messengers (did) . . . there aren't a lot of 'em around anymore because of that behavior. So Premium Rush is a movie that is, (again) essentially, a couple of years out of date.

But as a silly, action packed thrill ride of a movie it is, (again and ever again) essentially a lot of fun to sit through. Sure there is a serious subplot about what may appear to be illegal immigration -- there is an explanation that comes and goes like the wind (we're getting metaphorical because the immigrant is a little boy from China, whose legal-on-a-student-visa mom wants him out of Commie hands . . . do not ask us to explain that, it just drives the plot) but the film is basically a non-stop battle between two bike messengers to deliver an envelope . . .

. . . the contents of which are worth $20,000 to a police detective deep in debt to some kind of Chinese mobster.

The basic story is about a bike messenger named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), also heart-broken by the loss of his girlfriend Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) to another bike messenger, a "'roided up freak" named Manny (Wolé Parks). The "Coyote Man" is employeed by [Secure Packages, as in "your documents are secure..." and the nickname is because of the cartoon you should know]] . His assignment? To pick up a package at a University uptown and deliver it to a "Sister Chen" 116 blocks down the island. What is in the package -- a mere envelope, actually -- has already been referenced in this review and, well, for 70 minutes you get break neck bike riding stunts and fancy cinematographic tracking shots.

A brief aside: Before our screening, another critic and I were discussing the idea of "why don't we just assume that everything we see in August is going to be crap? That way anything that floats to the top will be the really, really good films-you-should-see kind of movies. And so it is with Premium Rush.

Yeah, it floats. Don't take the metaphor too far. We suspect that a theater crowded with stoned Gen Y or Z young adult-lets will have an incredibly good time. We, the old fart that yours Cranky is, had a surprisingly good time.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Premium Rush, he would have paid . . .

$6.50

Much more fun than the average dateflick.

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