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Premium Rush



premium-rush-posterReleased: 2012

Directed By: David Koepp

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon

Certificate: 12A

Reviewed By: Darryl Griffiths

Suffering from cancer and being hounded by Seth Rogen. Planting ideas into other people’s minds with Leonardo Dicaprio and being bogged down with the responsibility of fighting off the scum of Gotham City. Joseph Gordon Levitt has certainly had the proverbial shackles placed upon him judging by his recent track record. So it’s only fitting that his latest film sees him ‘cutting loose’ in a metaphorical and quite literal sense.

Directed by David Koepp, ‘Premium Rush’ revolves around adrenaline junkie Wilee (Levitt). Sickened by the idea of being confined to a smart suit at such a young age, he plys his trade by being a bicycle messenger in the always moving NYC. If he’s not pursuing his ideal squeeze Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), he’s risking life and limb delivering packages on a regular basis.

Unfortunately for Wilee, one urgent delivery of a package left in his ‘capable’ hands provides the setup for a wild dash around the city. The antagonist in such a situation? Michael Shannon’s (Boardwalk Empire) corrupt cop Bobby Monday, who is eager to have the contents of such a package in his possession.

In similar fashion to the likes of the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, ‘Premium Rush’ travels light with its real time narrative ‘baggage’ and relies heavily on its veichular led choreography. In less capable hands, it could easily have been a tedious 90 minute slog. However, Koepp proves a dab hand in this regard, with the nifty visual touches of ‘sat nav’ maps and flash forwards adding a welcome dose of invention to the frenetic chases.

Whilst admirable of Koepp to not show complete disregard for the plot and fill in the blanks via flashbacks, the ‘reveal’ itself is too lukewarm to truly engage. As a result, the film struggles to keep up the pace in its latter stages as the logic holes rear their unattractive heads with the payoff somewhat underwhelming.

However, the game performances make up for the deficiencies elsewhere. Levitt once again proves to be a charismatic and ultimately likeable lead protagonist, whilst Michael Shannon’s villainous albeit OTT performance as Monday will provide sufficient hope to comicbook fans anticipating his turn in Zach Snyder’s ‘Man Of Steel’ next year.

Smother films of such a nature with seriousness.. the fun factor diminishes. Thankfully, Premium Rush never applies the stabilisers in an attempt to be ‘deep’ and ‘insightful’.

Occasionally sloppy but consistently entertaining, ‘Premium Rush’ is a fast paced slice of Hollywood escapism that gets the blood pumping but leaves your brain in first gear.

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