Premium Rush Reviews
The critical consensus on Premium Rush seems to be that it’s an entertaining flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously - and neither did most of the reviews I’ve read. Most of them are entertaining and hilarious, so here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Pushing pedal to the mettle and its breezily thin, goofy story to the breaking point, “Premium Rush” provides just about all the late summer air-conditioned relief you could hope for. It’s buoyant dumb-fun, a ticking-clock thriller about a New York bicycle messenger who has to get from here to there without being taken out. Stuffed with zingers and zippy stunts, it comes with pretty young things of all hues and hair types — few prettier than its lead, Joseph Gordon-Levitt — and start-to-finish clever special effects, none more clever or special than Michael Shannon. If you want to see a political undertow in its urban band of multicultural renegades, there’s that for the taking too.
Mr. Shannon, having grabbed the Crazy Man baton from Christopher Walken, enters, teeth gnashing, eyes bulging, to play Bobby Monday, a bad, bad New York detective. […] None of these story bits matter much because it’s the telling and not the tale — along with Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s innate appeal, Mr. Shannon’s volatile menace and a certain je ne say what — that makes the movie pop.
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
The lovably ridiculous bike-messenger thriller “Premium Rush” is a welcome throwback. In a film world where genre fare is elevated to the level of serious cinema, and B-movie helmers have a penchant for self-aware irony, they just don’t make dumb movies like they used to. But “Premium Rush” deftly straddles the line between stupid and clever for the entirety of its brisk running time, wearing its inessentiality on its sleeve, and though B.O. will be modest, the pic could thrive in its natural habitat as lazy Sunday cable fodder.
Directed and co-scripted by frequent Steven Spielberg collaborator David Koepp, and starring Christopher Nolan muse Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the aptly named protag Wilee, “Premium Rush” feels engineered to provide its principals with a bit of a breather between shouldering blockbusters. It’s clear that everyone involved, from cast to crew, understands the inherent silliness of the material, but while the film never tries to introduce any undue seriousness into the proceedings, it never winks at them either, earnestly embracing the idea that Manhattan’s kamikaze corps of bicycle messengers exists as a band of Kerouackian urban pirates.
—Andrew Barker, Variety
Wilee may be a madman, but he’s an ingratiating one as well, because he’s played by Gordon-Levitt, the child actor who has matured into Christopher Nolan’s favorite mensch (in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises) and the smiling poster boy for indie films. So appealing is Gordon-Levitt that, for great stretches of his new movie, I suspended my disapproval of his character and just went with the nonstop flow. He almost persuaded me that the film is, if not a premium rush, then an economy high.
—Richard Corliss, TIME magazine