A thrill ride from beginning to end that reminded me a great deal of Run, Lola, Run. From the moment the movie starts, you are thrust into the action and tension and it pretty much doesn’t let up until the end.
Gordon-Levitt (Looper) and Shannon (Take Shelter) lead the cast and provide the main core of the movie. Gordon-Levitt is, as always, believable, committed, and fun to watch. He also clearly had a blast making the film–just listen to his giggle while he’s riding if nothing else. Shannon’s character is played as a walking disaster who we meet just as he bottoms out in his life. It needs to be this extreme for the story to unfold, but it does have uncomfortable moments of dramatic absurdity. From over-the-top outbursts to introducing himself by an alias that feels completely out of character for the man we meet (the alias is either an inside joke or an intentional homage to another well-known writer). Ultimately, the performance comes together, but he, more than anyone, felt out of place. One fun note, and likely a breakout, was Christopher Place as he made his very credible debut as the Bike Cop (he’s been solely a stunt man for the last 10+ years).
While the cast is solid, the excitement of this film is really down to the technical side of the production: directing, cinematography, and editing. The story is good, but it is how it is inter-cut together and how it is filmed that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Writer/director, Koepp continues to show his broad ability with this addition to his opus. While a prolific screenwriter, he has worn both hats on films as diverse as Ghost Town, Stir of Echos, and Secret Window. Several of these, including Premium Rush, he co-wrote with John Kamps.
There are some good extras on this disc that were worth the time to watch. Seeing how they put together the film and managed the stunts filming on location in NYC was educating, but the movie is definitely the main attraction and it shouldn’t fail to entertain, even on multiple viewings.