Premium Rush Review: A good 90’s movie from 2012


Premium Rush is David Koepp’s first film in the director’s chair since 2008’s Ghost Town. Unlike Ghost Town, this film has the benefit of having a young, charismatic lead, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, a bike messenger who soon finds that the package that he is carrying might lead to dire consequences. He is forced to race across the city while constantly calling his ex-girlfriend and yelling at his arch-rival, a fellow bike messenger. Not only that, but he is being chased by a dirty cop who wants nothing more than to get his hands on the messenger’s package.

This movie feels like a gem from the 1990’s, a time when flannel shirts and Nirvana were cool. While I still think both are great, many disagree, and many may disagree with my review of this film. As the lead, Gordon-Levitt really bring the charm and overall presence that a film requires. The same could be said for Michael Shannon (well maybe not the charm part), who plays the dirty cop. It’s my belief, and the belief of many who I’ve spoken to, that both characters would be stale without these two actors filling in the roles. The two were also able to play off each other well and it didn’t feel like either were “phoning it in”.

I liked the story-line, I mean no one has really made a bike messenger story and it was interesting to learn about the profession. I’ve already said it a lot, but this movie really feels like it’s from the 90’s. What I mean is that it takes me back to when skateboarding movies were being made. The main characters back then were cool and much smarter than your average Joe. They were also really athletic and attractive (which many past girlfriends have spoken about how JGL is the sexiest actor around, which hurts my feelings). All these aspects match Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his character in this film. Some might not like films that take them back, and others might not even remember the 1990’s, but I personally enjoyed being reminded of one of the best decades in terms of film and music.

There are many other enjoyable aspects to the movie, the bike chase scenes being one. The camera work is fantastic in those scenes. I didn’t get dizzy which can often happen during chase scenes in films and television. The movie was also the perfect length, not too short and not too long. If you are a bike enthusiast, you will surely love the movie, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect.


My biggest problem with this movie is with one character in particular. Jaime Chung plays Nima, a young Chinese woman who is in America on a student visa. My problem isn’t with the character, it’s with the terrible accent that borderlines on offensive. It’s embarrassing to watch her and nearly makes your head hurt in the few minutes she’s in the movie. While that is my most glaring problem, I was also a bit annoyed with the film’s execution and the decision to tell the story by moving forward, then flashing back, then forward, then back and so on. While it didn’t bother me a whole heck of a lot, it might to some lovers of film.

There are also apparently some mistakes in the directions that the bike messengers take, but that didn’t bother me when I was watching the movie because I’ve never been to New York. If you have been to New York and you know the area well, it might bother you. For the most part everyone else should be fine. I honestly expected that I would have more problems with this movie, but it was pretty good.

Overall, this film is 90 minutes of fun and you can’t help but be reminded of a wonderful decade, unless you were born in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. If you like Gordon-Levitt, you won’t be disappointed as he brings that charm that makes the ladies smile and the little kids cheer. It’s not a film for everyone, but I sure liked it.


What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. OhBless

    The trailer was better than the movie itself.

    • Yeah, the trailer made it look like it was going to be really good. I think had some steps been taken, the movie could have been. It might have been better if in the hands of another director.

      Thank you for reading.

  2. Kay-marks

    I enjoyed it but film’s main drawback is its abundance of profanity and crass talk. The worst offenders are one f-bomb and more than 10 uses of G-d**n…

    • I guess being a college student from California made me sort of overlook the profanity. 😛

      I completely understand what you mean, though. I know I would’ve loved this movie as a kid, but I’m not sure if my parents would have let me watch it due to said profanity.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  3. Zach Dennis

    Great review. The biggest positive I gained from the film was the cool non-linear story structure it used. While it sometimes could hurt, I felt this film worked in it well and made the experience a little different. I also hated Jamie Chung’s character and questioned why they could just get a Chinese-born actress. Chung is from LA I believe.

    • Thank you. 🙂 I liked the non-linear structure at first, but near the end it got to be too much for me. I’m pretty sure they only cast Jamie Chung because she’s pretty gorgeous. She’s not a terrible actress, but I agree, they should have cast a Chinese-born actress.

  4. Chris @ filmhipster

    Hated every second of this film.

  5. “This movie feels like a gem from the 1990’s, a time when flannel shirts and Nirvana were cool.”

    This makes the film sound like it was dated, even for when it was created, nine years ago.

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