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Critic's Pick: 'Premium Rush' not just another action flick

September 05, 2012|By Betsy Sharkey
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in "Premium Rush."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in "Premium Rush." (Sarah Shatz / Columbia TriStar )

Don't dismiss "Premium Rush" as just another action movie.

The film centers on a bike messenger in a bad fix, and its grunge sensibility is the antithesis of what we've come to expect from the genre.

The bodies, most prominently Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Wilee (as in that speedy cartoon coyote), are more string bean than bulked up.

And the most dangerous weapon isn't a weapon at all, but the skill and moxie it takes to race through Manhattan on a bike without brakes.

Directed by David Koepp, who co-wrote the clever script with John Kamps, it's got intellect as well.

Wilee made it through law school, but for now he finds the freedom of the streets more compelling.

The pace is dizzying and the stunts elaborate. Instead of explosives, the filmmakers play with speed.

It's a total rush to watch Wilee ride like a demon to avoid one, a bad cop played by Michael Shannon.

And the soundtrack? It rocks.

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