Premium Rush: The Need for Speed

by Ethan Alter August 24, 2012 6:00 am
<i>Premium Rush</i>: The Need for Speed

Shot almost two years ago, bumped from various release dates and tucked away at the end of this summer like a neglected stepchild, the new bike messenger thriller Premium Rush (yes, you read that right -- a bike messenger thriller) turns out to be the season's most nimble and purely enjoyable popcorn flick. The Avengers might have a gazillion superheroes kicking ass, Prometheus might have dazzling sci-fi spectacle and The Dark Knight Rises might have Anne Hathway in a form-fitting catsuit, but Premium Rush possesses something all those movies lack: sheer, exhilarating speed.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Describes the Rush of Making <i>Premium Rush</i>

Before he co-starred in The Dark Knight Rises as Batman's cop sidekick, Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a hero who zips though a major metropolis on his own version of the Batpod: a single-geared, brakeless bike. The hero in question is Wilee, the speed-addicted bike messenger at the center of Premium Rush, which was shot on the streets and roads of New York two years ago and is opening in theaters tomorrow. Co-written and directed by David Koepp (whose past credits include the screenplays for Jurassic Park and the first Spider-Man and director of Stir of Echoes), the movie finds Wilee trying to complete an express delivery of a valuable package while staying one bike line ahead of a corrupt cop (Michael Shannon) who is on his tail. Don't let the lack of bat ears or Batarangs fool you; Wilee's superb bike skills practically make him a superhero in his own right. We spoke with Koepp and Gordon-Levitt about what it was like to shoot such a fast-paced thriller, what lessons the actor learned from 3rd Rock From the Sun and why Die Hard With a Vengeance is one of the best New York movies ever made.

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