Premium Rush

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In a year when Joseph Gordon Levitt has been in “The Dark Knight”, “Looper”, and "Lincoln”, “Premium Rush” had to have been his fun paycheck. A movie in which his physical caliber was put to the test, “Premium Rush” is no magnum opus, but it’s a literal thrill ride through the streets of New York City. 

Levitt plays Wilee, an adrenaline junkee who would rather cycle with no breaks than finish law school.  Upon the opening ten minutes of the film, it seems that we’ll be in for a cheese fest with bad CGI. After a routine package pickup, Wilee soon discovers that the letter sized envelope he’s carrying may be worth more than he bargained for as a dirty cop chases him through the city. A “French Connection”-like chase of bike versus car ensues and the rush begins.

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Michael Shannon plays Bobby Monday, the corrupt cop who needs to clear his gambling debts. Intercepting the package means repaying his debt and saving his life. While the delivery of the package to the rightful place means Nima (Jamie Chung), its rightful owner, can have her son brought in from China.

As the movie pulses forward, Wilee calls on the help of fellow riders Vanessa (Dania Ramirez) and Manny (Wole Parks). Each biker brings their own set of skills to the table as they zip around curves, up ramps, over cars, and do all kind of maneuvers we could only dream of doing. 

Director David Koepp delivers a well paced, visually stunning film that puts the viewer in the rider’s seat. The non-linear style of editing does what every film should do, leave the  audience wanting to know the answer to a question. What’s in the package? Why is it so valuable? Will our hero survive? 

Even though the ending is typical, the film is fun. Ultimately, it’s nothing but a good time on two wheels. 

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.