Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Premium Rush- Good or Bad for the Cycling Community?

Premium Rush- How does this make us look?

Okay, okay, before anyone thinks I am going to do a negative preview about the only cycling movie in the last two decades, let me just start out stating that isn't the case. I am actually eager to see this movie when it does arrive in theaters. This movie gives us something to think about. There are cyclists of all types: recreational, commuter, and even bicycle messengers. Yet this is the only movie that has come out in a long time that will portray an image to the public about cyclists on the streets. Are they responsible, law abiding people that just choose an alternate mode of transportation? Or are they reckless, suicidal daredevils that will put their lives as well as other peoples lives at risk?

I'm all for a little bit of blockbuster action and scenes where the cyclist maneuvers themselves out of dangerous situations and shows expert bicycle handling skills being put to use. But in all honesty, that doesn't represent all cyclists, not even bike messengers. Some messengers take risks and they end up in hospitals or worse, that is a fact I hope they bring to light in this film.  Just like the Fast and Furious movies brought with them a cult following of souped up street racers, this might also have the same effect on young teenagers or adults just looking for the next big adrenaline rush.  It might raise the sales of single speed or fixed gear bikes with bull horns or tiny four inch handlebars. If people start to act on the reckless behavior of the messengers in this film, this might make things harder for regular vehicular cyclists just trying to get around on the road. Drivers might be more aggressive towards cyclists and cities will not want to support measures to make roads more bike friendly.

It might also have a positive effect. It might bring fresh blood into the cycling market and make cycling cool and attractive to a younger audience. It could raise awareness for cycling and increase ridership, even if it's out of a faddish, in the moment reasoning. Many dedicated cyclists have gotten into it because they thought it was cool. Many baby boomers started cycling in the 70's and 80's when movies like Breaking Away and American Flyers came out. Movies have the power to make something interesting and appealing to a lot of people. They also have the power to portray something negatively to a massive audience. There is much left to be seen, and I can't wait till it comes out in theaters.

Here's a short movie trailer for Premium Rush. 

There are many local cycling groups and organizations that will ride their bicycles to the screening of this film. I hope that the promoters are doing what's in the best interest of cycling and the cycling community. I would have liked to see a movie about bicycle racing or even bicycle touring, like The Motorcycle Diaries but on a bicycle. This is my two cents. Consider this another one of my bike rants.

What do you think about this movie? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


  1. I was wondering the same thing.

    But, then I decided to just wait and see for myself. You're absolutely right, this movie falls more in line with the action movie type (like the Fast And Furious franchise - but I hope with a better story line) - so hopefully, folks can separate themselves from the fiction. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the amount of modified Hondas out there, after those movies came out. It'll probably happen with the bikes as well.

    I'm also for a feel good movie about bikes. I even prefer some of the bike documentaries out there now. Unfortunately those movies don't bring in blockbuster bucks.

    Let's just be grateful that the producers went with bikes in this movie instead of rollerblades (as alleged by a writer who has a lawsuit out against the movie company for ripping off his idea).

  2. You're right dickdavid,

    It would seem ungrateful to snub the only mainstream bicycle movie that has come out in the last twenty years or so. I do however think that the public would appreciate movies like "Reveal the Path" or even an action spinoff on "Klunkers". Walt Disney has released many documentaries in theaters on the off seasons. I think bicycling in it's purest form is a subject producers are too afraid to tackle or think that it's a financial liability for them.

  3. At 1:02, you can see they switched out the fixie for a mountain bike with fat tires and disc brakes for the jump, lol. That gives me a lot of confidence in this movie. :D I hope kids don't try hucking off stuff with their new track bikes after seeing this!

  4. Hahaha yeah Jared I noticed that too. They didn't even attempt to make those stunts on a track bike but used a shonky style pump track mountain bike instead.