Friday, August 24, 2012

PREMIUM RUSH: A Film About In A Hurry

However uncommon Reviews of Reviews are, this review has a purpose, so to speak as The New York Times itself sits virtually, smack dab in the middle of commercial Manhattan between 40th and 41st Streets on Eighth Avenue, so quite possibly, if not now in the present digital world, then, but probably still, The Times is where certainly most bike couriers remember having gone the most.
The film, Premium Rush, Opens Friday, Nationwide, Directed by David Koepp, from a script Written by John Kamps Director of Photography Mitchell Amundsen as Jill Savitt and Derek Ambrosi Edited. Music was by David Sardy and Production Design by Thérèse DePrez. Responsible for Costumes Luca Mosca, while Gavin Polone Produced this Columbia Pictures Release with a running time of 1 hour and 31 minutes.

The Star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays bike courier, Wilee, and Michael Shannon, nemesis, Bobby Monday. Dania Ramirez love interest, Vanessa and Jamie Chung is Nima, Wolé Parks – Manny, Aasif Mandvi – Raj, Henry O – Mr. Leung and a Bike Cop, Christopher Place. With a slew of assistance from bike couriers hired to advise and perform stunts.
Conjecturing the film’s first mistake is only featuring one bike cop when, as in the world in general, it’s better police are in pairs. Where parts of this country are lapse with patrolman out alone. Right, sorry, I digress, nonetheless police have communication open to Command Central that, even with video, ISN’T THERE.
So the co-chief film critic for The Times, MANOHLA DARGIS starts The New York Times Review with the catchy cliché – Pushing pedal to the mettle. Then projecting the stance of a critical reviewer she has printed – its breezily thin, goofy story to the breaking point, Premium Rush provides just about all the late summer air-conditioned relief you could hope for.

So in one fell swoop basically it’s an entertaining fiction worth paying money for air-conditioning. Nor do the compliments let up, as if tabloid fluff, but this is The Times? Why else be complimentary unless the thrills on Manhattan’s streets are as fun for an audience as it could be for the plodding along, day-day working stiffs that kept New York City fast enough to have actually earned Financial Capital of the World and all the other accolades the unquestionably Behemoth city could label itself.

Ms. Dargis writes – It’s buoyant dumb-fun, a ticking-clock thriller about a New York bicycle messenger who has to get from here to there without being taken out. Stuffed with zingers and zippy stunts, it comes with pretty young things of all hues and hair types. Gushing – Few prettier than its lead, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and start-to-finish clever special effects, none more clever or special than Michael Shannon. If you want to see a political undertow in its urban band of multicultural renegades, there’s that for the taking too.

So there could be effective subtexts of culturally relevant appeal?

The Times provides clips movies.nytimes.com Premium-Rush Trailer

TOM ROSTON’s August 16, 2012 Review in which the film was earlier plugged as excitement by a Times Reviewer.

Now really, among couriers? It’s basic the two marginally-major Hollywood productions, Kevin Bacon’s Quicksilver film and television show, DOUBLE RUSH were slightly cheesy. Close but the cigar wasn’t completely lit in authenticity. But actually Quicksilver’s ending of congratulating friend, Paul Rodriguez for acquiring a Hot Dog Cart implied being a bike courier meant they couldn’t wait to get out of business into a real opportunity. And nothing of especial significance, since Quicksilver was released, has changed in that regard where new better opportunities are always best for the workingwoman and man. All messengering was till the kids came along in the 90s to give the subculture the attention to be appreciated as a type of art which all life is anyway, but.

Bike messengering was an occupation you got into, careful, working hard, then got out because on a bike all day is real grunt work. To make money they didn’t used to stop. That’s how they made money. While now that the law, combined with curtailing bicycle lanes, has forced a slowed down system by riders in general in the city, will Manhattan’s commercial interests pay for the couriers’ time or gouge them compelled to ride very fast nonetheless? That’s cool, a lot of money has been spent on this bicycle lane project because mobile thrones can’t be trusted to drive polite. Time marches on with or without the working-poor labor class, huh?

Oh yeah? The Review reveals some plot by knighting Mr. Shannon, playing Bobby Monday, as having grabbed the Crazy Man baton from Christopher Walken, though I’d have to see that plausibility to believe it. Anyway, to a degree, the wily nemesis pitted against The Star is the plot template struck from Quicksilver’s thriller core. Bacon’s feud with the drug dealer who killed one of his new best buds, Laurence Fishburne.

A PREMIUM RUSH sarcastic Huntington Post Review simulates Q & A and included at the bottom of their page are more snippets of clips including blood gushing down The Star’s dinged forearm.

The Times Review’s paragraph summary is of a bad, bad New York detective with a teeth gnashing, eyes bulging gambling addiction labeled by The Times Review a problem. The villain freely confesses he has issues with impulse control as a big-time loser deep in dangerous debt whose deliverance may come from a mysterious marker/chit that will lead to a payout that, in turn, involves a money-lending outfit, visiting student, Nima, and Jamie Chung with some mainland China connection and other easily forgotten particulars.

Now there The Times goes dropping the guillotine. Exciting story without enough memorable details. As Ms. Dargis’ Review explains – None of these story bits matter much because it’s the telling and not the tale — along with Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s innate appeal, Mr. Shannon’s volatile menace and a certain je ne say what — that makes the movie pop.

There it is, a picture of riveting STAR QUALITY because the Reviewer is compelled to tell more, giving away story, that theoretically, if you attend the film you’d have forgotten enough of the explanation the film isn’t infected by loss of freshness. So The Times describes the chit ending up in Mr. Gordon-Levitt-Wilee’s black professional messenger bag. And we’re off! He’s racing from uptown to down biking a gantlet of darting cars, buses, trucks, pedestrians and dodged Bobby Monday, among other obstacles. Such as the obligatory girl trouble, played by Dania Ramirez as Vanessa. So according to The Times, Wilee zigs, zags and rarely stops while filmed with the camera flying parallel or perched on his bars or by his feet.

Then comes a cheap shot making fun of the Wile moniker from Wile E. Coyote. Then it’d that that Wilee rides a fixed. And if you’re curious about the fixed issue, The New York Times link above takes that issue on describing it as used to brand characters reckless. She links this to Director, David Koepp trying to mirror the DIY fixed-gear devotees daring for real danger as more realistic than digital stunt effects.

The cameras work as many points of view as there are perspectives.

The Times provides a rendering of a heavy day as pouring sweat, with a little social life that produces the lasting power in The Star to take the movie to its inevitable end. I kid you not. The dig of predictability stuck right in there with the drudgery. And then comes the hilarious portion of the Times Quicksilverish Review asking, – Why he doesn’t just hitch a ride on the subway is a mystery.

Now that’s a keeper. Implying a train is faster. But there was a time, before bike lanes and measures to just slow everything down. When nothing was faster in this town, theoretically. In a sense, from what The Times has printed, this film coming at this time, pays homage to a time that really does deserve being seen as one of the truly glamorous grunt-work jobs. Then The Times plugs writer, director Mr. Koepp for a loose, casually funny script written with John Kamps.

Ah, then adulation comes with a stake through the bike courier industry’s heart. – Mr. Koepp has found the right balance here between genre seriousness and un-self-seriousness to turn the disposable into the enjoyable.

But at least The Times didn’t hold back in regard to Family Acceptable Entertainment.
“Premium Rush” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Vehicular and gun violence.

All in all, a fine review of a film in the great tradition of conditional regard for a vocation that really never harbored deadbeats. But even The Times must delineatewhat people understand, not what the notorious band represents as one of the world’s real working class.

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