A youngster who drives a bicycle right through the city of New York and is a messenger boy for a living, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the lead protagonist in 'Premium Rush', an action thriller which could have just done better with a more attractive title. Frankly, 'Premium Rush' pretty much sounds like a B set up and though the film by itself doesn't quite carry top production values, one does feel that the engaging storyline did deserve a better treatment. In this case, David Koepp directs the film well by keeping the narrative fast paced. However, there are clichÃ©s galore which means the suspense element isn't really in full force.
When messenger boy Joseph picks up a simple task of couriering a harmless looking envelope from a girl of Oriental origin, little did he know that next few hours could pretty much turn out to be life threatening for him. As it turns out, the envelope is worth thousands of dollars and there is everyone after it, right from the cops to the baddies to his own team members. As he races through the city and tries to fight it out against time, quite some action unfolds on the busy roads as bicycles race past zipping cars during the peak evening hours.
'Premium Rush' turns out to be a strictly popcorn affair where one doesn't quite see stronger dramatic elements integrated with the narrative. Yes, the way the film is set up is indeed engaging, what with Koepp taking audience back and forth in time. However it seems more gimmicky than a strong requirement of the script and that is primarily due to lack of high intensity subject in hand.
Still, what works for the film is that the scenes unfold in quick succession due to which you feel like being a part of the chase than just being a bystander. Yes, there aren't many edge of the seat moments and the action on road isn't extraordinary either. Nonetheless the very fact that you are not compelled to check your cellphone during the 90 minute playtime of the film is good enough to make it a strictly one time affair at least.