Premium Rush

September 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Posted in 2012 | Leave a comment

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“Top Gun” on bikes; I think that pretty much sums up this fast-paced bit of summer.  Like sun tea, homemade ice cream and BBQ this is exactly the sort of thing you expect this time of year.  A cocky pretty boy proves he is the best of all bike messengers because he’s daring to the point of suicidal.  There is a love interest, a pseudo-villain, in the form of a competing messenger, and a real villain, in the form of a corrupt cop (of course).  Joseph Gordon-Levitt winks and smirks his way through this high-speed caper that involves Wilee (as in the coyote, get it?) rushing through Manhattan traffic while being chased by said cop, played with maniacal intensity by Michael Shannon (who was truly truly brilliant in last year’s “Take Shelter).  Why?  Wilee is trying to deliver a movie ticket (nice touch) that represents thousands of dollars that the cop needs in order to stay alive but that is really to pay for a Chinese child’s entry into this country (legally, it is pointed out) so that he can be reunited with his mother.  Awwww…. the audience is supposed to say.  Why does a movie ticket represent thousands of dollars?  Because the story needs Wilee to be carrying something valuable, heartwarming and small.  The reasons provided in the movie are so improbable as to be beyond the point of mentioning.  Once I had discarded the plot (as surely as the director did), I discovered a fresh take on the old trope.  With a nifty use of modern special effects, director David Koepp was able to keep me entertained with some great bike tricks and pulse-quickening traffic scenes.  For all the nonsense, I was seldom bored.  It won’t stay with me long but it was sweet while it lasted; what more do you want from summer candy?

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