Premium Rush – A Brakeless Entertainer

Brakes are death. I hate brakes.

– Bicycle messenger Wilee to his girlfriend Vanessa in Premium Rush

Wow, who’d have thought a movie involving car bicycle chases would be this entertaining.

Man, this is one scorcher of a film.

Sometimes in movies even if the story is wafer-thin or almost non-existent the fun is still there in the telling, the execution.

And it’s in the telling that Premium Rush provides a solid adrenalin jolt that never ceases from the opening scene, when our messenger guy Wilee falls to the ground in slow motion after a crash, to the last when all’s well that ends well and Wileee is back on the streets again pedaling away furiously.

Wild Ride

Directed by David Koepp, based on a script he co-wrote with John Kamps, the movie is a wild, frenetic joyous ride across Manhattan.

Eschewing the bar and the suits (literal and figurative), law graduate Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a messenger in NYC.

Yeah, one of 1,500 such messengers ferrying packets and letters from one end of Manhattan to the other.

But one envelope he picks up from a young Chinese lady on 116th St proves deadly.

Well, almost.

No sooner does he get the envelope than other people seem to want it.

And they’ll do anything to get it from him.

Good as Joseph Gordon-Levitt is as the messenger with a ‘hot’ envelope in his bag and a girl-friend whose affection for him seems up in the air, it’s Michael Shannon who steals the show as the dirty cop Bobby Monday desperate for the ‘ticket.’

Michael Shannon is an awesome actor and his performance in Premium Rush is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

Mitchell Amundsen’s photography on the streets of Manhattan (??) as Wilee and the other two bikers dodge cabs, cars, pedestrians and even strollers is superb.

Although the movie is more of a wild ride, there’s a touch of humor here and there.

Hey, the sight of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a red T-shirt, a messenger bag around his shoulders and pedaling furiously on his brake-less bike is itself enough to provoke laughter.

Indians will be glad to learn that the movie features an Indian-American actor Aasif Hakim Mandviwala in a minor role.

Asif plays Raj, the owner/manager of the messenger service where Wilie works.

Go for It recommends Premium Rush.

The movie is playing in theatres across America.

Indian filmmakers who pride themselves on churning out so called ‘mindless entertainers’ ought to watch Premium Rush to grasp the art of how even a thin script can be turned into a solid entertainer.

Don’t miss this one.

14 Responses to "Premium Rush – A Brakeless Entertainer"

  1. Mnx542   August 31, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Have you seen 17 Again?

    The movie doesn’t have a tight script and is by no means extra ordinary but quite entertaining and it’s also got some emotional quotient to it. Responds:


    Watched a superb French movie last night on Amazon Instant- The Hedgehog. I’ll likely do a post tonight or tomorrow on the film.

    • Mnx542   September 1, 2012 at 8:39 am

      I need to get back to watching some quality movies.

      Been a long time since I’ve watched one.

      Bourne Legacy is running full here and somehow I’m not that interested in catching Dark Knight Rises. The fever has just died down.

      Some positive reviews coming in for Mugamoodi but I’m going to wait for atleast a week before I make a decision on whether to watch it or not.

      If it’s just another hollywood rehash, I’d only be wasting my time and money. Responds:

      You write: Some positive reviews coming in for Mugamoodi

      I refuse to believe Indians have the skillset to put out a superhero film with any degree of finesse!

      • Mnx542   September 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        @ SI: “I refuse to believe Indians have the skillset to put out a superhero film with any degree of finesse!”

        So do I.

        That’s why I’m a bit reluctant to watch it.

        The trailer was laughable.

      • indian007ist   September 3, 2012 at 1:17 am


        Sorry to disappoint, there are quite few negative reviews than positive reviews for Mugamoodi. Here are some reviews:

        (in the above review, they say Mugamoodi is loosely based on Hong Kong movie “Ip Man”)

        Even audience here responded in negative way. Many says movie has failed to impress them. So, read this review and then decide by yourself.

        Honestly, i haven’t watched this movie. Of course, i won’t. I really want to do some better stuff instead of watching this crap. Responds:

        1. It’s unrealistic to expect these Vadivelus and Santhanams a.k.a. Tamil film industry to put out a superhero film with any degree of credibility.

        2. Speaking of Mugamoodi, its hero Jiiva seems to be a jackass.

        Just the other day, Jiiva tweeted: The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. Source: Jiiva’s tweet, Aug 13

        So by Jiiva’s asinine logic, if you get AIDS, the best cure would be to get lots of HIV. πŸ˜‰

        • Mnx542   September 4, 2012 at 2:10 am


          I was talking abt some positive reviews from people I know, not the critics or other audience.


          After watching the film yesterday, I’d agree with the sane people who have rightly called it a piece of shit πŸ˜›

          Mugamoodi does have some saving graces though.

          * The acting overall is adequate although the leading lady is a waste of screen space and screen time.

          Jiiva and Narain do a decent job as do the others. BUT Narain’s portrayal seems to be a bit over the top towards the climax although he probably did what he was told.

          The movie could very well have done without a leading lady as she virtually has no role to speak of. All she does is appear in two songs, beat up the hero jiva the first time she sees her and nothing much apart from that.. WTF was Mysskin thinking? Hell, she doesn’t even have a little scope to show her acting skills, if she has any.

          *The kung-fu fight sequences. Although one or two of them could have been done away with, the fight sequences look neat and polished, unlike the crude fight sequences we see in other tamil movies. Even in comparison to Hollywood or Asian action flicks that have kung fu sequences, the fight sequences in Mugamoodi don’t appear crude or silly. But they aren’t up to the former’s standards as well. Not crude but not extra ordinary either. But a commendable effort nonetheless.

          Jiiva and Narain both do a decent job in the fight scenes.

          *The bgm, especially during the rooftop chase sequence. Btw, the rooftop chase sequence is quite neatly executed for a tamil movie although many of us might have seen better things in Bourne Ultimatum etc. But I did find that Jiva’s outfit during the chase a bit funny πŸ˜›

          *The cinematography. Very nice.

          What puts Mugamoodi down to such an extent it becomes a piece of shit is the poor writing. The movie started off very well with a gang of masked thugs armed with gadgets like night-vision goggles and weapons stealing gold jewellery from an old couple’s house, invariably killing both of them in the process.

          It showed some promise of being a nice thriller during the initial few scenes but then spiralled down and never got up(it did once and went down flat again). The movie loses steam quickly and it’s not long enough before you wonder what the f*ck is the director trying to do. For a short time, the movie does get back on it’s feet with some nice scenes and a fitting bgm to go with them but again falls down flat and this time never ever gets back up.

          Btw, despite this being marketed as the first ever superhero movie in Tamil, it’s not one. This guy does turn out to be a savior in the end but the main reason he puts on a cape in the first place is that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time which puts him in the police’s wanted list.



          The Indian film industry thinks investing in good writers is a waste of money!

          • Mnx542   September 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

            Good writing would have definitely made this a good movie. It does have off beat scenes but you really don’t care because of the shoddy writing.

            The movie could have done without the two songs and the leading lady. Myskkin should have concentrated more on the story and writing.

            And he is becoming hopelessly incompetent when it comes to maintaining the suspense. Yudham Sei failed miserably in that aspect and Mugamoodi too, to an extent. Anyone who read anything in the papers at all about Mugamoodi even weeks before it’s release would know that Narain was the villain when in the movie, it’s revealed only after atleast an hour, just before the interval.


            Ha ha ha ha


            But the above link does not say whether Mugamodi is raking in crores of Paisa or Rupees.

          • Mnx542   September 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm


            Bgm during the rooftop chase..

            seems like a copy but it’s just a feeling I have.. I may be wrong too.


            It has a very Western touch.

            Wasn’t this a Tamil movie? πŸ˜‰

          • Mnx542   September 5, 2012 at 12:07 am

            “It has a very Western touch”


            It’s good and that’s why I have a feeling it’s stolen πŸ˜›

            Wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

          • Mnx542   September 5, 2012 at 12:09 am


            I don’t see the comment by Indian007 asking you to review the movie. Removed it?


            I suspect Indian007 of being a shill (hired PR hand), trying to create buzz and drum up interest in the film.

          • Mnx542   September 5, 2012 at 12:23 am

            Ah aah.

            But why is that?

            He/she him/her self stated that the movie is crap and even if u did review it, you’d def have trashed it. So how will that generate any positive buzz for the movie?


            Sometimes when there’s no buzz, any buzz will do.

            As the famous saying goes, write whatever you want about me, just spell my name right.”

            I can’t imagine anyone, even in Tamil Nadu, giving a flying f*ck for Jiiva!

          • Mnx542   September 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

            I wouldn’t trust that link.

            The theater I went to was almost empty.


            I believe it…depending on where the decimal goes! πŸ˜‰

  2. kage_11   September 3, 2012 at 4:52 am

    The general talk of the town in Jiiva has put in good efforts and looks convincing the kung-fu stunts.

    Unfortunately, the efforts seem wasted unless it is backed by a good storyline AND direction.

    I hope that they stop casting, north-Indian actress as heroines.

    Most of the times, their make-up is so bad that it defeats the purpose of casting them as eye-candy. I saw a few clippings from the movie yesterday and felt like puking over ‘Pooja Hegde’s face. Responds:

    You write: I hope that they stop casting, north-Indian actress as heroines. Most of the times, their make-up is so bad that it defeats …

    1. Ha ha ha ha.

    So you think when South Indian ‘actresses’ like Trisha, Nayanthara, Priyamani etc don makeup they look like Rambha, Menaka and Urvashi on the screen? No, that was just a rhetorical question, so don’t bother answering it.

    Sweetie, you’re missing the whole point.

    This whole idea of importing North Indian girls into a Tamil film is repulsive, and repulsive for one reason only – Most Tamil youths simians have an insatiable, rapacious appetite to jerk off over fantasies of screwing a Fair-Skinned girl. And Tamil film producers are avariciously pandering to these loathsome appetites.

    Ditto with Telugu films.

    I refuse to believe that we don’t have talentless babes in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh who can’t do as bad a job in the acting department if they’re given the same opportunities as their Northern counterparts.

    Tamil producers and directors are not making movies aimed at the Tamil dickheads but they’re targeting only their dicks.

    That’s the reason in movie after movie you’ll see lavish displays of Tamannah’s thighs and navel, some delectable part of Kajal Aggarwal’s anatomy, Namitha’s udders sheathed in clothes two sizes short for her twin babies or Shriya Sharan sexposing her assets to the drooling eyes of White-Skin besotted Tamil moviegoers dickheads.

    It’s true that South Indian girls too have no choice but to expose their ‘assets’ if they want a thriving career in films. But in the Tamil producers’ calculations sexposing Fair-skinned babes yields a better return on investment.

    If Ogden Nash were to be reborn in Tamil Nadu, this is the limerick he’d write:

    Money is honey
    My dear sonny.
    And in a Tamil youth’s eyes,
    a White-girl’s thighs, fannies, tushies and boobies
    are always sexier than a brown girl’s thighs, fannies, tushies and boobies.

    2. All that said, the Tamil movie industry is as bad in the makeup department as in the acting or photography arenas.

    For instance, look at Ulaga Madayan’s Dasavatharamam.

    Ulaga Madayan not only acted like a clown but looked like one while portraying George W.Bush because of the atrocious makeup.

  3. kage_11   September 4, 2012 at 2:27 am

    SI Wrote: For instance, look at Ulaga Madayan’s Dasavatharamam. Ulaga Madayan not only acted like a clown but looked like one while portraying George W.Bush because of the atrocious makeup.

    Then you ought to blame Michael Westmore for it, he is the one who did it.

    I think it also got to do more with color balancing and make it match and blend with the background so it looks unobtrusive. In one of the interviews for Dasavatharam, Kamal was saying so. He was saying such color balancing work itself consume lot of time in Hollywood. He was not able to do it in Dasa due to financial and time constraints.

    I think it makes sense too, think of makeup that Hollywood has done for movies like Predator, Aliens, Pirates of Caribbean, the Harry Potter series. The mask blends so beautifully with the movie and is such a natural to look on screen.

    Of course, the end result as to how the make up turns out to be, depends on the actor too. You can make a goat look like sheep, but not like giraffe. Responds:

    You write: Then you ought to blame Michael Westmore for it, he is the one who did it.

    No, because in a Kamal Hassan film it’s the bozo who calls the shots.

    • Naveen   September 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      The point is when you have money enough to build a bathtub then don’t build a swimming pool because all you will end up with is an ugly pit.

      For Dasavatharam, Kamal may have had a grand vision, noble intent and may have put in tremendous amount of effort but what the audience saw was a megalomaniac making a fool of himself and the audience.

      Collections and Box Office outcome not withstanding, Dasavatharam will rank as one of the worst films of his career.

      Also, Kamal considers himself a pro on Makeup work (besides writing stories, dialogues, screenplays, poetry, lyrics etc.) after his experience in Indian and Avvai Shanmughi.

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