Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Premium Rush: A two-wheeled action flick gets 3 stars

Premium Rush is made fun by Michael Shannon's comic performance as a dirty cop in mad pursuit of a bike messenger's cargo.

By Jake CoyleAssociated Press / August 24, 2012

This film image released by Columbia Pictures shows Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a scene from "Premium Rush."

(AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Sarah Shatz)


Let's just be glad Smell-O-Vision never caught on. Thankfully, the musky odor of sweaty bike messengers doesn't emanate from director David Koepp's thrill ride, an enjoyable, two-wheeled action film and flashy ode to the subculture of urban couriers.

Skip to next paragraph

It's a silly movie predicated on a simple premise, but it's satisfying B-movie entertainment that moves with the swiftness of a Schwinn — a ride made particularly fun by Michael Shannon's enthrallingly comic performance as a dirty cop in mad pursuit of a bike messenger's cargo.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, a hardened New York City messenger who's forsaken a promising career in law for the freedom of riding the city's congested streets. His dispatch (Aasif Mandvi) sends him on a seemingly innocuous delivery that will prove anything but. Chief among the impediments is Shannon's detective, whose gambling debts in Chinatown have made him desperate for Wilee's lucrative delivery.

Koepp assembles backstories with flashbacks to earlier in the day, but the film moves with pedal propulsion along with numerous chase sequences made with stunts, rather than visual effects. But Shannon as a wide-eyed, exasperated maniac doesn't just steal the movie, he towers over it. In a two-tire film, he's an 18-wheeler.

PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language. 91 minutes. Three stars out of four.

RECOMMENDED: 50 best movies of all time

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!