After being forced for extensive period of bed rest, which was boring but i finally catching up on Game of Thrones, yours truly finally get back to the movies yesterday, and did a mini movie marathon consisting of two movies. Both are highly anticipated by me, especially since they aired in Indonesia movie theatre a few months after the initial release in the US. So here’s a review for the first one :)
The movie opens with a slow-mo of Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) getting thrown off his bike in the middle of New York heavy traffic. Worry not the movie suddenly (and almost literally) rewind itself, as announced by the clock we see on screen, and we were introduced to Wilee and his routine and background, how he go through his everyday life as a bicycle messenger, braving the streets of New York against the yellow cabs, the pedestrians, on his steel bracket, fixie bike, without brakes. We met his sort-of girlfriend Vanessa and his rival Manny. His last assignment of the day was to pick up and deliver an envelope from Nima within 90 minutes, seems easy no? Nope, at least not when there’s at least one dirty police in your trail, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon).
This movie is classified as action, thriller on IMDb which make sense since there’s so much action (on bikes!) and it will give you serious dose of thrill. That being said, this is not an action movie with so much depth. But it doesn’t mean the actors involve are by any means mediocre. In fact, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is dazzling, you can see him exuding Wilee’s passion to ride bikes and it drips off screen. Shannon as the dirty NYPD cop gave off this almost insane vibe, just like his craze over money. Definitely high-octane performance
(i finally understand how to use the phrase correctly) by the two actors that won’t disappoint.
The simple premise might have seen boring and somewhat expected, but it is presented in a non-linear pattern, and even with the constant skips of timeline, it manage to give the movie interesting way to unfolds their plot and introducing us to each character involved in it and their backgrounds and roles. I found this very interesting indeed and it kept me engrossed to what happen on screen. Unlike most movie that used different filters or coloring to differentiate points of pasts and future, a ticking digital number representing a watch are used to show the forwarding and rewinding of time. Well, since this movie timeline is about as long as the movie itself (give or take a few hours), it’s also quite interesting.
The movie is very visually interesting, even without the loud bangs or gunfires I don’t think this movie can be more exhilarating. With stunt actions of biking throughout the city (who says riding bikes is not life-threatening) it’s either a brilliantly choreograph action sequence or just crazy daredevil action how they zig, and zag, surpassing pedestrians and challenging traffic at the breakneck speed. CGI are utilized to built 3D view of the city and the route they took after consulting their Sony Xperia phones’ maps or as an imagined possible consequences if they take the wrong decisions within split milliseconds before a junction, turns, etc. these imagined possibilities, albeit very gruesome, are delivered in rather comedic approach, keeping the atmosphere light throughout the movie. The pictures has this vibrant coloring without looking too vivid, and probably a choice to help contributing the light atmosphere of the movie.
Do you think that bike chase is lame? Especially considering the low $35 million budget? Think again. Premium Rush, as described in the movie as the super-speedy delivery by the bike courier, really deliver an enjoyable 91 minutes of breakneck chase fun that will effectively get your adrenaline rushing. A successfully formula that would not work on any other fast or furious vehicle. I wouldn’t mind a re-watch, tbqh, this movie started screening on blitzmegaplex and cinema21 on September 26th and still airing when this blog entry is being published.
Hint: Don’t leave the movie theatre after the movie ended! During the credit roll, you can watch an actual footage of the aftermath of JGL hitting a taxi windshield which slashed his arms and required 31 stitches.