Saturday, August 25, 2012
Premium Rush- Movie Review
SPOILER ALERT!!! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS MOVIE, DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE. THANKS
If you do want to know what happened in the movie or already saw the movie, feel free to read right on ahead. I went into this movie with no expectations, and what I received in return was a genuinely good time.
This movie's plot goes back and forth between different times of the day, and flashes back and then flashes forward. If you are not paying attention, it's easy to get lost in the plot. For those who pay attention the movie reveals clues as to what happens in succession.
Wylie, a New York City bike messenger, picks up a package of little apparent value, but it's significance is worth a lot of money on the black market streets. Nima, a hard working grad student on a student visa from China, has made a deal with the Chinese mob to get her son from China into the US. The mob will grant her son gets passage into the U.S and gives Nima a "ticket" or a receipt with high value, that she will need to present as proof that she has paid the ransom price to get her son into the U.S.
This "ticket" is the cause for all the drama in this film. Wylie is assigned to deliver this ticket and runs into a corrupt cop who wishes to steal the ticket and exchange it for it's value on the streets. This dirty detective is into some money problems with the Chinese mafia and has the murder of one of their gang members on his hands. Hoping to steal the ticket to get out of his problems with the mob, this cop intercepts Wylie and a chase ensues.
This movie accurately portrays the New York bike messenger community as well as the hipster subculture that is prevalent in the Northeast United States. It does make a point that being a messenger is a low paid job considering the high risks involved, and that those who do it are in it for more than the money. I really enjoyed the stunts in the movie, most which where not digitally modified. There was even a cameo appearance of Squid the bike messenger, a local legend that is said to the the best real life bike messenger in New York City.
It also brings into life rivalries that exist in real life among the cycling community. Manny, Wylie's rival in the movie, owns a high end carbon fiber road bike, and demeans Wylie for riding on his old, steel single speed bike with no brakes. Wylie proves to Manny that it's not about the bike more than it is the engine when he races Manny head to head in a race through Central Park. Wylie blows by a group of older cyclists in a cycling club that ride on their very expensive bicycles, acknowledging them as he passes by. Despite the bike snobbery at the beginning, this movie shows that cyclists of all types can come together and put their differences aside for the greater good.
Bike snobbery is a common issue that tends to divide the cycling community. If cyclists of all types, commuter and recreational, were to embrace each other on the road, this would facilitate a given area to become more bike friendly. Just a thought (ahem..Dallas politics), just sayin'.
Although the plot line in this movie is very similar to Quicksilver, I enjoyed the plot more than the 80's Kevin Bacon acted film. Premium rush is a movie that captures urban cycling for what it is in the 21st century. The dangers and the high risk environment that the cyclists experience might be over-hyped, but there are also real life scenarios and subcultures that this movie brings to light. Check it out, go watch it if you haven't already, and make sure to let me know what you think afterwords.