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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Comedy > Crime > Thriller > Mystery > Messenger Bikes > Premium Rush (2012/Sony Blu-ray)

Premium Rush (2012/Sony Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C



Very few films have been made focusing on bike messengers (Quicksilver anyone?) and trying to make a thriller out of one is not easy as David Koepp (writer of Jurassic Park and The Shadow among others) as he directs and co-writes his latest film, Premium Rush (2012) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an ace biker who has a to take the very special delivery of the title.  His company does security delivery, so once it is in his hands; it stays there until he arrives at his destination.


A crooked cop (Michael Shannon playing to type) wants the contents of the envelop he is delivering no matter what and starts to stalk, pursue and obsessively go after him.  From there, the film has to decide if it will be a serious thriller, an action film or a comedy.  It has some good actors, including many unknowns and equipped with a screenplay by Koepp and John Kamps, tries to do all three and then be slick with a load of digital effects, digital graphics and too much quick editing that sabotages what could have been a really good film.

Gordon-Levitt can do not wrong these days being on a critical hot streak with box office usually not far behind, but even he cannot save this film’s gleeful sense of self that is very commercial, but not very suspenseful and even unintentionally silly.  I laughed at many scenes when I should not have, Shannon is over the top, the film is too broad and inevitably too trite to really work or take seriously down to its subplot about why the envelop is so important.


At 91 minutes, it could have been longer if only it had decided to be more of a suspense thriller and not a comedy, plus the world of bike messengers is played as a joke that is handled in a half-hearted way despite good bike stunt work.  At least it makes good use of New York City.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was shot in the Super 35mm film format by Director of Photography Mitchell Amundsen (Wanted, Jonah Hex, Transformers, Transporter 2) uses the widescreen frame to capture NYC and spaces (open and closed) where the bike riders have to go.  Too bad too much digital work hurts the presentation by making it a little softer than it should be and throwing off the color range a bit.  This is as good a work as Amundsen has delivered to date, though.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is pretty consistent throughout with good soundmixing, score recording and an accurate soundfield, but sometimes the music choices and editing choices are a little clichéd.  Otherwise, the sound is fine.


Extras include Previews for other films and two clips behind the scenes of this film: The Starting Line and Behind The Wheels.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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