I liked the movie Premium Rush more than I thought I would. I wondered how they could make an interesting movie where the principal action is bike riding in New York City? While the director and actors pull it off, the movie was a bust at the box office.
The story involves a few hours in the life of a bicycle messager (named Wilee) in downtown New York. The messager in question has a law degree, but has not passed the bar examination. This makes him a slackard in some people’s eyes (but not mine). But, in his defense, he is allegedly the best (fastest?) messager in NYC.
The movie is filled with unbelievable coincidences, some of the bicycling stunts are a little over the top, and the ending is stupid, but the graphics, cycling scenes, and editing are fun. The actors, particularly Joseph Gordon-Levitt, are all good. The movie received a 75 percent approval rating on rottentomatoes.
I recommend this movie because of its high-octane cycling scenes and because it has an existential feel. Think the tragic Greek figure Sisyphus, compelled to push a huge boulder to the top of a mountain, only to have it role back down, and to repeat this action endlessly. This is not unlike the job of a bicycle messager. Risking his life to deliver an “important” message, only to have to repeat the task again and again.
Albert Camus, the French absurdist, wrote an essay titled The Myth of Sisyphus in which he elevates Sisyphus to the status of absurd hero. This movie does the same for Wilee. Maybe the movie should have been titled The Myth of Wilee.
Gordon-Levitt was injured during filming when he crashed into the back of a taxi. The impact sent the actor flying into the vehicle’s rear window, slashing his arm which required 31 stitches.
If this movie sounds appealing, you might want to rent the German crime thriller Run Lola Run (1998) which has an amazing techno soundtrack.
This movie is no longer in theaters, so rent it when it comes out on Netflicks.