‘Premium Rush’ entertains at its own pace

Regina Ahn

Courtesy of Sony Pictures.
The time has come and a movie has finally been made about a fixed gear bike, starring none other than hipster heartthrob Joseph Gordon Levitt.
The movie Premium Rush stars JGL who plays Wilee, a courier that aggressively speeds through the streets of New York in lieu of the best routes to his destination. Premium Rush effectively portrays the fast paced, hubbub of New York City.  Wilee rides a “fixie” bicycle, which is a type of bicycle that does not have brakes nor gears that standard bikes do. He mentions in the movie that having no breaks is safer than having them, recalling a time where he was badly injured from his brakes. While on a regular route to deliver packages/ letters, he meets a woman, played by Korean actress Jamie Chung, portraying a Chinese woman “Nima” that desperately needs a letter sent to a location. Unbeknownst to Wilee, this letter would be the start of an intense chase from an undercover “dirty” cop, Manny.
The package delivery company that Wilee works for requests him to “Premium Rush” the package, or deliver it at a certain amount of time, an hour in this case.  Wilee constantly states in the movie that although he graduated from law school, he would never be caught dead in an office.This similarly relates to the outlook that young people have towards doing what they love as opposed to what is practical and safe. The movie highlights a fixed gear bicycle which is easier to maneuver, but doesn’t have hand brakes. Wilee is committed to this bike from the beginning to end, saying he’d rather be on the road going “50 miles per hour,” than doing anything else.Youth today similarly strive towards doing what they want to do. In this case, the couriers all use bikes and belong to a community of cyclists. In a sense, Wilee and his crew all help each other. When in doubt, peer riders are there to help. Today’s bike community can gain time, friends, and efficiency from riding bikes. They are a separate community that choose to ride, over driving or taking alternate transportations.
Though the film is about speed the movie tends to drag on. Some scenes seem too slow and though the film is entertaining it could and should be shorten for the sake of, well, speed.

A highlight of the movie is when Wilee quickly decides which direction would be the best to take. The scene is accompanied with a slow motion view of each route he would be taking—the pros and cons of each maneuver. A nice portrayal of what many cyclists go through while on the streets. Although the reason behind the chase could have been a bit more intense, the movie correctly showcased a man’s love of his fast paced, dangerous life… with his bike.  Would it influence a non-cyclist to grab a bike? Yes. It did so for me. Four stars out of five.