Willie Waffle is the movie critic for people who hate movie critics.

Premium Rush - Review

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premiumrushposter.jpgJoseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee - one badass bike messenger who races around NYC without brakes, gears or any sense of self-preservation.  He gets assigned one last, lucrative run of the day, and reluctantly takes it, which is always the premise for some assignment that will go horribly wrong and be so screwed up they should make a movie about it.

Wilee has to pick up a package at his old law school and transport it to Chinatown, but some mysterious, overly hyper dude with a bad attitude, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), wants to intercept this envelope, and starts to chase Wilee through the street of Manhattan to get it.

What is in the envelope?

Can Wilee deliver it without interference?

Since this guy already knows Batman, why doesn't he just borrow the Batmobile to deliver it?

Writer/director David Koepp, with help from co-writer John Kamps, delivers a serviceable, but half-baked action film far below the level of work we have seen from Gordon-Levitt and Shannon.  Considering this is the writer/director who gave us the screenplays for movies like Jurassic Park, Spider-Man and Panic Room, it's below the level of work we have seen from him, too.

Koepp is working overtime to provide plenty of visual pop to Premium Rush as we watch Wilee ascertain various scenarios and paths to follow as he rolls down the city streets, complete with the results of each possible path and decision.  We even get to see where each bike messenger is heading to in a Google Map-like feature to help the audience understand the distances and lack of time each one faces as they attempt to save the day.
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However, Premium Rush is like Kim Kardashian, it looks pretty, but you wouldn't want to marry it.  The movie lacks depth.  In a desperate attempt to turn Wilee and his bike messenger pals into heroes, Koepp and Kamps toss in some seriously flawed, mawkish reason why the package is so important, and only hint at anything personal about the bike messenger that might help us understand why Wilee has become the guy he has become.  In this movie, it's not important.

Sadly, Premium Rush gets sillier and sillier as we move towards the end, and the whole exercise feels like an attempt to tap into some subculture of society that isn't all that interesting.

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1 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Premium Rush is rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences and language