by Rick Grant
The lead character in this Bicycle Messenger caper, Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes his job seriously as part of a security messenger service that promises that once the letter or package is in the bag, it is delivered to the addressee, pronto. So when some dirty cop, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon ) stops him and demands a letter he is delivering, Wilee speeds off causing a death-defying chase between the cop and Wilee through the streets of NYC.
Wilee rides a bike like a bat out of hell, weaving in and out of the traffic, choosing routes that keep him from disaster. His bike has no gears or breaks, which keeps Wilee focused and registering near-misses. Of course, there is much more to the story than the chases, but they definitely get the adrenalin pumping.
Since this is a rare original screenplay written by the film’s director, David Koepp and John Kamps, it was worthy of viewing. With so many remakes and sequels being made, it’s refreshing to see an original idea make it to the screen.
Koepp’s shooting style is interesting in that he provides a nifty graphic display each time Wilee has to make a split-second decision on which route to take. The viewer sees the results of Wilee taking the wrong turn. It’s not going to be pretty if Wilee gets smashed by a cab or car.
A subplot involves a woman who is trying to get her son from China. She gave Wilee the envelope which contains a way for her to get her son to America. So, she needs to track down Wilee after Bobby has screwed up Wilee’s delivery.
The chase is on as Wilee takes harrowing chances to get that darn letter delivered. Meanwhile, Wilee’s bike messenger colleague and girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) is having second thoughts about Wilee. Of course, as these chase films go, she gets involved with Wilee’s efforts to avoid the dirty cop, Bobby.
A hapless bicycle cop keeps trying to apprehend Wilee. The poor sod fails at every turn and gets really frustrated. He is the comic relief to the story as the hellish ride through the crowded NYC streets heats up.
Overall, it was an entertaining trip to the cinema. Call it Hell Ride on Two Wheels!
Premium Rush Movie Review
by Rick Grant