Let's get one thing straight right off the bat; Premium Rush is not a premium film and nor did it fill me up with a feeling of rush. At best it's a mediocre film that pretty much drags, and thus henceforth shall be referred to as Mediocre Drag for the remainder of this review.
Yes! I am a huge fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's done some good stuff and is grooming himself well to step into the shoes of present day cinema nobility to the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. Unfortunately, Mediocre Drag (and you thought I was joking about using a different title) just doesn't do much justice to his career or acting skills. All we get out of the whole hour and half is that JGL knows how to ride a bike and the special effects team did a good job of keeping him from hitting cars while he delivered messages in the rough and tough streets of New York. However, doing research on the film, which is basically reading IMDB, I did come across the fact that he actually had an accident on the sets, so all the more power to him for doing the stunts.
The story of Mediocre Drag is pretty simple wherein Wilee (as in Cayote, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) , who is NY's best messenger for three years running, ends up delivering a document that is being hunted down by a dead-beat, deep in gambling loans, cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon). And yes, that's the best they could come up with in terms of cop names. There are a few flashbacks, and a slight romantic angle, which are just inclusions that take away from the main aspect of the film, which should be about riding the bike.
Mediocre Drag would have been a great film had it not had too many loopholes in its plot, something I will avoid discussing because I do not want to giveaway anything, although there is nothing much to giveaway in the first place. What annoys me is that JGL's character doesn't really come across as a real hero. Well, he is one, no doubt, but take for example his continuous bragging about the fact that he rides a gear-less and break-less bike, to the extent that he tells others that having breaks will get them killed. So when he finally does have an accident on his gear-less and break-less bike, woooooo I know, I felt like shouting "Who's your Daddy now, Punk!".
The other problem with Mediocre Drag is that it doesn't excite the audience. Events take place at a rather leisurely pace; even through there is a clock ticking every few minutes onscreen. A film like Premium Rush (since I am talking about what the film should be like, I figured I’d use the real title) should be high on cycling tricks, should make me want to leave my job and take up bike messaging or something on those lines. But is does nothing like that. I'd rather watch BMX Bandits wherein kids half the age of JGL did better bike tricks, and at least for a brief moment made me want to go and buy a BMX bike.
So, if your idea of a movie is watching a bunch of people in spandex ride bicycles without too much excitement, then Premium Rush might be the right choice, but if you prefer some edge of the seat entertainment, good acting, death defying action sequences that seem real, then give Mediocre Drag a miss.