Premium Rush - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Premium Rush Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 2, 2012
This is a solid and fresh movie. It has cool action sequences and a nice story. The casting, other than Gordon-Levitt, is a bit questionable but the fast paced action, interesting story, humor and great narrative come together to form a good movie.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2013
Now this is how to make an action flick! A small one, mind you, but it's one of the most fun pictures to come out. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a bicycle messenger in Manhattan who lands the unfortunate job of delivering a small slip of paper worth a ton of money. Corrupt cop Michael Shannon, trying to pay off a Chinatown gambling debt, gets wind of the item and attempts to relieve JGL of it. Unfortunately for Shannon, JGL is a pretty darn fast rider and great with stunts, and soon he has the help of his girlfriend (Dania Ramirez), who is also a bicycle messenger. It's just a simple chase movie, but it's perfectly edited and paced, with well-timed jumps back in time to explain the situation. The actors are all fine (I also really liked JGL's professional and romantic rival, Wole Parks), but Shannon really steals the show. This is the perfect place for his style of menace. Well worth your time. 5 Stars 7-21-13
Super Reviewer
½ June 15, 2013
I don't know why, but this movie comes across as Limitless with bikes to me. I don't it's just strange. Except, I actually liked Limitless. Premium Rush was truly dead on delivery. The corny dialogue and this-would-have-been-a-good-movie-in-2004-or-2005 style is... strange. Michael Shannon's terrible acting is just an anomaly. Overall: Premium Rush is fast paced boredom. I'm a JGL fan, but this just doesn't cut it, man. Letter Grade: D+
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2013
I enjoyed this. At it's heart this was a very standard chase film...the entire plot revolved around the bad guys chasing the good guys through the streets of New York. The one difference in this film is that most of the action is on bikes. Fast. Furious. Adrenaline-packed. Relentless chase scenes containing some of the most entertaining stunts, and maneuvering. Rarely a dull moment. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fantastic, as usual...
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2013
Fun, but not as exciting as I had anticipated.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2013
Premium Rush is David Koepp's action thriller about a cyclist being pursued through New York City by a crooked cop. This film had the potential of being a great picture that should have thrilled you from start to finish. I thought the cycling scenes were entertaining for what they were, but the plot lacked and should have been thought out more. The film had the potential of being much better, and it falls short of being a very good movie and ends up being just a decent one at best. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does what he can with the material and does make this a watchable film. However the film could have been much better and it's a shame because the idea was good, but in the end it just ends up being one of Levitt's most forgettable films. Premium Rush was decent and entertaining, but there were parts where it was a bit too silly for my liking and it's what ruined the film for me. The film tried to have a bit too much humor with its plot, and it just didn't end up being interesting. The promise of what could have been a great film falters with an underdeveloped script that you can simply tell that there was wasted potential and Premium Rush goes from decent to slightly mediocre to decent. I thought it was an amusing watch, but in the long run is pretty forgettable, and it is kind of disappointing to see a great idea fall short most of the time. Luckily the cast is what saves this one from being a total dud. Premium Rush hits and misses, but the cycling scenes are fun and entertaining and more than make up for the paper thin plot.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2012
Dumb, but kinda fun. Awesome performance by the bad guy. Glad it wasn't any longer than it was.
Super Reviewer
½ September 20, 2011
Set in the adrenaline soaked, high energy world of bike messengers, this is David Koepp's breezy, wild, and fun take on the chase film.

A straight-up B-movie in the classic sense, this is the story of Wilee- a tough college burn-out who quenches his love of thrills by working as a bike messenger, but not just any bike messenger, oh no. He's the kind who prefers to ride a fixie- an ultra lightweight single gear bike with no brakes. It's the end of the day, and, what should be a routine delivery of a high priority, or premium rush, package turns into a full throttle high tension thrill-ride chase between him, a shady cop, and a host of others wanting the goods he's supposed to deliver.

Set over the course of a few hours on a single day, and presented as a series of flashbacks and flashforwards, this is a stylish breakneck thriller. There's some twists and turns, but not a whole lot of surprises. That's okay though, because we get two solid lead performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt (in one of several films from 2012) as Wilee and the always strong Michael Shannon as the determined cop hot on his trail. They're not the only thing the film has going for it either. There's tons of thrills, spills, and some great stunt work and setpieces, with a few moments of legitimate tension and suspense.

There's not a lot of depth, but ya know, sometimes that's okay when the other elements of the film, as they are here, and done solidly and with flair. I loved how they use GPS style imagery to depict Wilee's journey and his split-second decision making process when weaving in and out of traffic. That was pretty cool.

All in all, this is pretty lite fare, but as a thriller, it's done competently, and doesn't overstay its welcome. Give it a watch.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2013
A fun, if forgettable, ride concerning a bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and one of his pickups that gets him tangled up with a corrupt, crazed NYPD officer (Michael Shannon). As said, it is fun, especially the ridiculously clever bike chase scenes through the city. However, it does have a few drawbacks, such as the way it is stitched together with a series of fast-forwards and flash-backs that aren't really that necessary for a nice little story like this, and this ultimately makes the movie feel slightly off-balanced. Gordon-Levitt, as always, brings his A-game, and it is great fun to see Shannon playing such a ridiculous villain that likes to talk like a noir detective. Not a movie you have to see, but definitely a good time-killer if there's nothing else on.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2010
"I really had fun watching this. Loved Michael Shannon in this. He's such an odd man. I love him in movies. He brings a bit of quirkiness to every movie he touches. JGL is one my faves so of course I have nothing bad to say about him.
The movie was fast paced and had a lot of action with tons of chasing and plenty of thrills. I enjoyed it a lot. The story didn't suck either. Nima has a very important package she needs to be delievered, but things get out of control when a dirty cop with a bad gambling problem has other intentions for her package. The movie takes off right when it starts and only stops with the ending credits.
Lot of fun. Great action. I even enjoyed the directing. I would definitely see this again."
Super Reviewer
August 23, 2012
"Brakes are death," proclaims protagonist Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 500 Days of Summer) in a flashback sequence towards the end of "Premium Rush". David Koepp ("Ghost Town"), who both directed and wrote the movie, would have been wise to take this advice. For a film that promises a nonstop adrenaline-filled thrill ride, "Rush" inexplicably hits the brakes at all the wrong times. And while the result fortunately isn't death as Wilee says, what we are left with is a confused, stilted missed opportunity of a film.

At its core, Rush is a standard chase movie, with its one big twist being the focus on bikes instead of cars. The basic premise is as simple as can be: New York City bike messenger Wilee is given a job to deliver a package, but corrupt cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter") wants to get his hands on it as well. What the package is or why Monday wants it is unimportant (seriously, even the film can't come up with interesting explanations), but what is important is that this set-up allows for a brisk pursuit through The Big Apple, where Gordon-Levitt's character must outsmart and out-pedal his adversary.

This concept wouldn't be much of a problem if the film owned up to its own simplicity. Several straightforward genre entries have embraced its adherence to convention, such as the recent "The Expendables", which was fine with being a body count simulator and nothing more. The trouble with "Rush" is that it tries to mask its basic nature by adding excess exposition and a dreaded one-two-punch of a tacked-on love interest (Dania Ramirez) and a tacked on rival (Wole Parks), with neither adding anything to the plot. More troubling, and what ultimately trips the film up, is the way in that it constantly slows way down for lengthy, unnecessary flashbacks and cutaways.

In the most glaring of these extraneous scenes, just as the pursuit seems to be picking up steam with Monday hot on Wilee's tale, the film flashes back to show why Monday is after the package in the first place. It isn't a bad scene per se, as it gives the spotlight to the talented actor, whose creepy nervous laughter and nervous ticks remind us just how good he is at playing crazy. However, the result of such a random cutaway (and one that doesn't really reveal anything important or interesting) is that all of the momentum is destroyed. This happens several times through the film, usually whenever the present conflict starts to pick up speed.

The result of Koepp's gratuitous over-complication of a simple idea is more than a little jarring. Even in the final act, the film fails to build up the climactic race against the clock it so badly wants. Which isn't to say "Rush" doesn't have plenty going for it; Gordon-Levitt and especially Michael Shannon seem to be on a completely different plane of acting than the cringe-worthy supporting cast. The film is also damn sleek, with its swooping satellite effects and GPS-imitating transitions. Finally, the whole picture is shot with a breezy confidence that's a joy to just take in. These bells and whistles are enough to demonstrate how much fun this movie could have been. Unfortunately, the incoherent script assures that the film is never becomes to adrenaline rush it promises. Put a different way, "Premium Rush" technically delivers the package to its destination, but only after taking one too many detours and dropping it on the ground a few times.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2012
I got pulled in once it got moving! The only thing I disliked was Michael Shannon as the corrupt NYC cop!
Super Reviewer
½ September 17, 2012
Premium Rush is a solid chase film with plenty of enjoyable performances (especially Michael Shannon as the sleazy bad guy), good action sequences, and a breakneck pace that almost never lets up. The story isn't really anything to write home about, but some funny moments and unique ideas make it worth while. The characters are likable without a whole lot of exposition and very little introduction, which is because the performances are so good. There's some inventive direction from David Koepp as well, including parts where the film shows you how things would play out if the main character takes a certain route over another. It's a short and sweet little action thriller.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2012
Not a great film, but highly entertaining nonetheless. The cast is very solid and Michael Shannon does a surprisingly phenomenal job as the pathetically corrupt but slightly comedic cop Bobby Monday. Creative cinematography and thrillingly unique non-stop action involving bikes elevate this film above its formulaic plot.
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2012
Really good film, great story and a nice fresh idea on the usual chase movie.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2012
Well to know that this movie only got 60-70% users that liked it, to be honest I'm a little shocked cause in my opinion 'Premium Rush' successfully made me won't blink my eye while watching it even just for a second.. I realize from the story, it's really simple and nothing special.. But from how simple the story was, to make it into great entertaining movie is definitely the challenge and for me David Koepp did his job brilliantly.. Joseph Gordon-Levitt definitely been an amazing lead cast even though it's kinda hurt since he's got a lot more potential than just riding a bike but at least his expression convinced me to see him as a bike messenger.. The other brilliant performance from this movie comes from Michael Shannon, which in my humble opinion, still need to prove himself a lot more since the first time his acting acknowledged come from 'Revolutionary Road' where he plays the almost same type as the character he played in this movie.. The other cast did their job quite well too and they should be given a credit for their performance.. Overall, like it's tagline it's been quite a hell ride while watching it cause it was so much fun watching it!!
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2012
Here's a good chase movie, but instead of car chases it's a bicycle chase movie. A bike messenger(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up a package and has only a few hours to deliver in, but he is being chased by someone who wants that package before it is delivered. Anything else may ruin some of the twists and turns, and there are plenty. The performances are great, especially Michael Shannon, who is always awesome, as the guy after the package. One second you feel sorry for him, then the next you hate him, he really does great. The action is awesome, as it's very unique to see a chase movie like this. The way the bikes navigate through New York is different, and you never know what could happen, and it really adds to the tension of the movie. This really reminded me of a movie called "Cellular". Completely different stories, but the tone is very similar as both are a "race against time" action movie, that isn't too serious, and not too light. "Premium Rush" is a very fun movie to watch, and great rush of a movie to close out the summer season and kick start the fall movie season.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2012
The plot becomes more and more ridiculous as the film goes along, but ''Premium Rush'' benefits from being stylish, providing adrenaline-pumping action scenes and strong performances, in particular from Michael Shannon.
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2012
Ride like Hell.

Good movie! Premium Rush keeps the pace tight and the audience engaged. The camera work forces us right in the middle of the traffic and the blaring car horns, allowing us to experience the tension both visibly and audibly. Premium Rush never takes itself too seriously, and neither should you. As long as you check your expectations at the theater door then I'm confident the majority of you will find that this film - much like its bike messenger protagonist- delivers.

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 more complicated and dangerous by the minute. Together with his friends and rivals, Wilee must discover the secret of this dangerous delivery and make it through a gauntlet that will require all his cunning, daring and courage to survive.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2012
The close shots of cycling make the bike scenes more exhilarating than some car chase scenes. With a witty main character and an insane Michael Shannon, Premium Rush is an intense ride throughout NYC with a loose story that keeps itself grounded in the end. The concept was bold and the movie did deliver!
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