Premium Rush sets new standards for action movies

By Zach Winfield

Fixed gears, steel full frame, no brakes and an endless race. Premium Rush is a nonstop thrill.

The film follows a daring bike messenger named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in New York City who uses quick thinking and what appears as accelerated probability, the ability to predict multiple outcomes and choose the one most likely to succeed.

Wilee is a law school graduate who refuses to wear a suit and take the bar exam and who signs the ticket for an envelope and a death wish. The antagonist of the show, Officer Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), is a crooked cop with anger issues and gambling problems who tries to kill Wilee with his car. Wilee also has girl trouble with a fellow messenger, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), a girl with an attitude and fear for Wilee’s safety. If that wasn’t enough, he has to work side by side with a narcissistic coworker, Manny (Wolé Parks).

The acting was better than the entire cast of Twilight and Kristen Stewart’s one facial expression. Gordon-Levitt puts a face and personality to the thousands of NYC messengers with his quick comments derived from the New York City streets.

Although the movie is full of action, the actors still work in humor, some a bit dark. While riding on the wrong side of the road into traffic, Wilee always has a comment to agitate Monday even further, and Gordon-Levitt has no problem insulting the man trying to kill him at high speeds. Gordon-Levitt has become more popular recently from his success in The Dark Knight Rises and brings great acting to the screen. Michael Shannon is another character you love to hate but have to watch his every move. His emotions are as stable as a fault line.

Shannon obviously enjoyed his role as the bad cop with some serious psychological issues and plays the part well. In fact, too well.

The soundtrack is amazing. The opening credits crank out “Baba O’Riley” by The Who and ramp the audience for the action that unfolds. The soundtrack also includes music by Sleigh Bells, My Chemical Romance and Titus Andronicus.

The story takes place on the busy streets of Manhattan and Chinatown. Although the story follows Wilee’s dangerous job, the director worked in the other characters by jumping to the past that connects them.

The director made the changes obvious with a large clock that rewinds to the current time of the scene. The changes are easy to follow, and the audience can easily adjust to the different setting.

The story is a nonstop adrenaline rush with an amazing cast and soundtrack. I would suggest it to anyone who wants witty dialogue and action scenes. If I learned anything from Premium Rush, it was that you should always wear a helmet.

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