Monday, August 27, 2012

Movie Review: Premium Rush

Who is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and why will he be in 3 feature films in as many months? He’s written his own name on my favorite actors list with ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Premium Rush’ in theaters with ‘Looper’ coming to the big screen in September. I know it’s a lot to consider someone among favorites when you just heard of them, but I’ve enjoyed the roles he’s played this summer.

Forget all that.

The real reason I checked out Premium Rush was Dania Ramirez, mmm mmm mmmmmmm. If it wasn’t for her I would have likely passed on Premium Rush so Joseph Gordon-Levitt would still only be ‘Robin’ to me, and my favorite actor list would still be intact. Joseph, you have Dania Ramirez to thank because I whole heartedly enjoyed Premium Rush and got 1 helluva movie at matinee price.

Premium Rush uses non-linear narrative to tell the story of Wilee (Josheph Gordon-Levitt) a bike messenger in New York City in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend Vanessa, Dania Ramirez, [mmm mmm mmmmm] are at odds because they’re not on the same path anymore. Other than the ignored phone calls from Vanessa, the day is typical for Wilee until he gets a job requiring a trek across NYC and back in 90 minutes during rush hour. Unknown to Wilee, he’s carrying a ticket worth $50,000 in cash and gambling-addicted NYPD Detective Bobby Monday, Michael Shannon, needs to get his hands on that ticket to pay a debt worth his life. Narrowly escaping death more than once, Wilee returns the ticket thinking it’s illegal but after learning it’s true purpose Wilee is determined to make the delivery on time, no matter what.

Before I say Premium Rush was a great movie and you should drop everything right now to go see it I have to pause and just say I thought Premium Rush was an outstanding movie because I identified heavily with Wilee.

Wilee was a bike messenger (with a law degree) because being a bike messenger allowed him to do what he loved most – ride. The thought of the alternative, wearing a suit (presumably in a courtroom), drove a wedge between him and Vanessa because he thought doing any thing other than what you loved was selling yourself short. Wilee missed Vanessa’s graduation because he thought she would end up settling but hoped to reconcile. [Don’t get me wrong, missing your girlfriend’s graduation is stupid no matter how you slice it!]  Riding to Wilee was more than a hobby and greater than a lifestyle, the way he rode was a manifestation of his personal philosophy. Wilee’s bike had 1 fixed gear so he ALWAYS had to pedal, there was no coasting only work to get to his destination. His bike also didn’t have brakes. He believed having brakes posed more of a danger than not having them because “the worst (stuff) happened to me when I had brakes”. [It's called "target fixation", instead, he looked where he wanted to go to get around an obstacle and having no brakes forced him to do that.] As an avid motorcyclist I knew exactly where Wilee was coming from and how he felt to not have his girlfriend understand his passion, no matter how (many times) he explained it.

Wilee’s rival, Manny, WolĂ© Parks, was a true “hater”. Wilee acomplished the goals that Manny failed to achieve and to spite Wilee, Manny tried to discredit him using Wilee’s own character against him. Shameful. But ultimately, Wilee lived his truth no matter what and the plot of Premium Rush unfolded in a way that made Wilee the only man for the job; it was his shining moment. Despite all the criticism from his peers they knew only Wilee could answer the call and that criticism and misunderstanding uniformly turned to praise and support.

Without getting on my soapbox, Wilee spit some game from a place that only people who live and breathe their passion can truly understand. But the takeaway for everyone is to live your truth. Your truth is something so uniquely you that people confuse you with “it” but it is just an extension of you.

And to think, all I wanted to see was a sweaty Dania Ramirez...

...mmm mmm mmmmm!

Favorite Movie Quotes:
“Is that a Chinese phonebook?” – Detective Monday

“I’ll beat your ass, man! Have you seen my thighs? Have you seen my thighs!?” – Manny

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Disclaimer: I’m an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner, however the views expressed in this post are of my own.

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