Cast: Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Bobby (Michael Shannon), Vanessa (Dania Ramirez)
Director: David Koepp
Theatrical release: 08/24/2012 DVD Date: 12/21/2012
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 91 minutes
Note(s): Original screenplay written by David Koepp and John Kamps
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Review: When a bike messenger receives a package to deliver by 7 PM — a premium rush — he thinks it's just another job. But when someone tries to stop him from making that delivery, he can't help but wonder why in this action thriller set on the streets of Manhattan.
My expectations weren't high going into the film and while they were met, they weren't exceeded. There are almost no unknowns in this film — there isn't, for example, a whodunit, howdunit, or whydunit element — and character development is paper thin. The action scenes are well executed and filmed, which is good since it almost diverts one's attention from how non-existent the storyline is.
The film unfolds in a non-linear manner, probably not the best choice here. There is a lot of cutting back and forth in time and it really doesn't work as well as it probably could. I suspect this was done, in part, to disguise a huge flaw in the original premise, that being — and this may be a spoiler, so I'm going to label it as such — if someone has the time, means, and ability to carry a small package to its destination, why hire someone else to do it for you? Yes, the person who hires Wilee to pick up and deliver a package — just an envelope, so nothing bulky — to Chinatown by 7 PM also arrives in Chinatown by 7 PM. Why not carry it yourself? There wouldn't be a movie otherwise. That's lazy screenwriting and viewers expect — indeed, should demand — more.
Premium Rush doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is, but it always seems like such a waste of talent for everyone involved when just a little bit of effort could have been expended to make it a much better film.