The bike messenger as action hero: Hollywood has been trying to pull off that trick since 1986’s Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon. Didn’t work then, and it’s not working now. Still, you have to hand it to Premium Rush, which has the kinetic whoosh to keep you spinning. A game-for-anything Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee, the top daredevil among New York’s bike messengers. Hell, his bike has no brakes. And writer-director David Koepp sets us up for a rush in real time as Wilee makes a run from uptown to Chinatown to deliver a life-or-death ticket (don’t ask). Wilee hits every obstacle, especially a cartoonish, crooked cop (Michael Shannon, going way over-the-top). Premium Rush features fearless stunt work that shames most computer trickery. Too bad I didn’t believe a minute of it.
This review was updated on August 24, 2012.