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Premium Rush (Blu-ray Review)

15 Dec, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 12/21/12
Sony Pictures
Box Office $20.28 million
$30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violence, intense action sequences and language.
Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez.

Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has an insatiable passion for speed, and his job as a bike messenger in New York suits that need. Yes, it’s extremely dangerous to ride at top speeds on a bike with no brakes through busy city streets, but Wilee lives for the thrill of it.

When a “premium rush” delivery is assigned to Wilee, it unwittingly unleashes chaos, not only for him, but his girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), and her former roommate, Nima (Jamie Chung). The package contains a very important ticket worth a large sum of money, meant to pay for foreign college student Nima to bring her son to the States from China. But Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), a police detective with a nasty gambling addiction, will stop at nothing to get his hands on that ticket to quickly settle the debt he has built up.

Thus begins a pulse-pounding race through the streets of Manhattan to get the envelope to its intended target at the appointed time. And it’s a mission Wilee doesn’t take lightly.

Shannon is convincing as the unrelenting villain, while Gordon-Levitt brings his usual charm to the role.

The filmmakers take a clever approach to the chronology of the day’s events, keeping viewers on their toes. Also enjoyable are the engaging, somewhat comical split-moment decisions (seen as visualizations of Wilee being thrown like a ragdoll should he dart off into traffic heading a certain way) Wilee makes when navigating the various cars and obstacles.

The two featurettes on the Blu-ray delve into how the actors prepared for the role, the real-life bike messengers of New York, the stuntmen who took plenty of spills, the imagining of the visual effects for the various chases in the film and more.

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