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REVIEW: Premium Rush

How can I make my character less interesting in this scene?

This film is a mediocre, generic, chase movie. It’s filled with uninteresting characters, a paper-thin plot and unnecessary non-linearity. It also features fixed-gear bikes, and actively advocates riding brakeless. Some disclosure; I’m an avid cyclist, I personally don’t get fixies, but do whatever makes you happiest with regards to gearing systems. Riding brakeless, however, is utterly retarded and the writer needs to be struck firmly with a rolled-up newspaper for advocating the practice*.

The story is driven by around an over-familiar plot; a young bike messenger ‘Wilee’ (Joseph Gordon-Lovett) has to transport a MacGuffin from point A to point B. Except…this is no ordinary MacGuffin – a corrupt police detective (Michael Shannon) desperately wants to get hold of this package, and will go to extremes to obtain it. The classic B-movie formula facilitates numerous chases throughout the New York City streets. Nothing wrong with that, if the chases are well executed and fun. They’re not. The pursuits are uninvolving and poorly strung together. This gives the film a disjointed and uneven feeling. Additionally, the film features a non-linear time structure, which is almost entirely unnecessary. The MacGuffin’s back-story and detective’s motivation are told in flashback, and fleshed out beyond what is necessary. They manage to over-complicate the flimsy plot, whilst failing to make the audience care about the delivery of the package.

I’m the girl character! My bike has a brake!

The characters are the real weakness of this flick, especially the protagonist ‘Wilee’. Here’s the problem; he’s dull and a bit of a cock. Why should we care if he makes it out of this whole situation if we think he’s a jackass? Imagine if you were watching 127 hours, and you started off disliking Aaron Ralston (James Franco). Would you care if he escaped from the canyon, if you didn’t like the guy? Probably not. I was routing for Wilee to get tackled by his pursuers. It’s a problem when you’re routing for everyone, except the protagonist. This includes his rival at the messenger company, Manny (Wolé Parks), who’s the opposite of Wilee when it comes to bikes- he rides a fancy carbon race bike with gears and those most deadly of components; brakes! Holy poop on a stick! Can Wilee, on his righteous steel steed, best his geared competitor in a hill race? Do we care? Probably not. Wilee’s not only uninteresting, he also advocates fuckwit wisdom to his not-girlfriend (Dania Ramirez) such as these gems; ‘You need to get rid of those brakes. Brakes are death. The worst crashes I’ve ever had were when I had brakes.’ Right. The not-quite-girlfriend character is similarly uninteresting. She, at least, has some kind of character arc. It involves brakes. Yes, this movie is that dumb. On the plus side, the cop is moderately entertaining as he nashes his teeth, threatens people and his eyes bulge out of his skull in rage.

I’d recommend this film to no-one. If you want to watch a dumb-but-fun chase film, there are dozens of superior offerings; such as the Fast and Furious series, Torque or Death Race 2000. If you want to watch a film about fixies and bike messenger, the internet is awash with lengthy ‘edits’. If you want a bunch of chases strung together by a B-movie formula, on the big screen, I guess you could go and see Premium Rush. Oh, wait, is Bourne still on at the cinema? Go see that instead.

Grade : E (It could have been worse, I guess.)

*Except for certain, specific disciplines.

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Comments

  1. Lol, I totally agree with you. I felt this movie was such a pointless waste of time.
    http://life-between-films.tumblr.com/post/31045923501/a-tale-of-two-films-premium-rush-and-lawless

  2. Nothing new that we haven’t seen or heard before, but it still has some fun with itself, even if the writing really takes away from it. Nice review.

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