Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors, and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day’s work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York’s agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie – super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and suicidal nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy who’s used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when his last envelope of the day – a routine “premium rush” run – turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan.
“Premium Rush” is a unique film. A bike messenger in New York City named Wilee (also called Coyote from the Wile E. Coyote of “Road Runner” fame) takes chances with his life each work day, riding throughout New York City while dodging rushing cars and avoiding open taxi-cab doors. He doesn’t have a brake on his bike to boot. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, who is given an envelope to deliver by a woman and soon finds himself being pursued by a relentless man who wants the letter. A running joke in the film is a NY City bike officer who pursues Wilee as well.
The film features scenes of Wilee and fellow bikers zigzagging across the city, cat-and-mouse chases, close calls. We learn that for all his racing around the city he makes $80 on a good day. His motto is “Running reds (lights) and killing peds” (pedestrians). This is an action-packed and fast-paced movie for sure. And we do learn why the man is so determined to get the envelope and how that Wilee protecting the envelope means everything to one certain woman in the story.
Regrettably, the movie is laden with strong language and several “GD” and “J” utterances, and one F bomb, therefore we are prevented from awarding the movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal. In addition, the violence category also crosses our acceptability level, with a man being beaten to death and another being shot in the head.