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August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A film about New York bicycle messengers hardly seems like the sort that would draw much praise from critics, but most of them agree that Premium Rush is in a class by itself. As Roger Ebert puts it in the Chicago Sun-Times: “I’m very weary of routine chase movies. There’s nothing routine about Premium Rush.” Like others, Ebert remarks that there’s not much of a plot here and the characters are sketchy. However, he notes, “This is an impressively skilled production that credits about a dozen stunt riders and even more CGI techs, and is never less than convincing.” Claudia Puig in USA Today also acknowledges that “the contrived tale is filled with plot holes.” No matter, she suggests, “the story takes a back seat to the chase-filled, daredevil action.” Or as Peter Howell advises in the Toronto Star, don’t try to take the movie seriously. “Better to just sit back and enjoy it as a summer jolt of pure adrenaline.” Manohla Dargis in the New York Times heaps much praise on director David Koepp for finding “the right balance here between genre seriousness and un-self-seriousness to turn the disposable into the enjoyable.” Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times, asks, “Who knew a bike ride could be so thrilling?” She lauds cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen’s contribution to the action scenes,which says says are “inventive, extensive and exciting.” But what are virtues to some critics are vices to others. Mark Feeney in the Boston Globe puts it this way: “Premium Rush has a lot of energy — too much. It’s kind of exhausting.” And Kyle Smith in the New York Post bestows but a single star on the film, calling it a “sloppy thriller [that] combines careening images with turgid storytelling.”