Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Premium Rush

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for some violence, intense action sequences, and language
Profanity:Some strong language, one f-word
Nudity/Sex:Some sexual references
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Action, peril, and violence, chases, gun, accidents
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:August 24, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 18, 2012

He’s a Manhattan bicycle messenger and his name is Wilee, like the coyote.  But Wilee (the always-brilliant Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is more like the road runner in this story.  He has an envelope to deliver, and Bobby (Michael Shannon) wants to stop him.  This nifty little thriller does not need much more than that to hold our attention.  And yes, it delivers.

Director and co-writer David Koepp (writer of “Spider-Man,” “Panic Room,” and “Jurassic Park”), like his hero, pares everything down to the essentials, and that means removing the brakes.  Wilee explains that his bike has no gears and no brakes.  It cannot coast, so the pedals never stop turning.  “People risk their lives for 80 bucks on a good day,” he tells us.  But he loves the freedom, the adrenalin, the constant recalibrating as he swerves in and out of traffic and tries to stay safe in a city were “door” is a verb and getting “doored” (slamming into an opening car door) can cause major injuries.

Just as Wilee is constantly juggling and recalibrating his options as he determines his strategy for getting to his destination as quickly and as safely as possible, with the priority on speed.  Koepp takes us inside Wilee’s head as he looks down different paths and calculates what the outcome will be for each one.  He applies the same sort of calculus to the rest of his life.  He graduated from law school but never took the bar because he cannot see himself wearing a suit to an office, at least not now.  He cares about his girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez), but he cannot plan far enough into the future to manage to get to her graduation.  He likes being in the moment.  He does not like anything that reminds him of the other life beyond the urgency of making the deadline.  He loves being a part of the few, the proud, the bike messengers — in a world of email and FedEx, there are still some things that have to be carried in person — but he is feeling increasingly competitive with Manny (Wole Parks), who seems to be chasing Wilee on the streets and Vanessa after hours.

Nobody gets mad better than Michael Shannon.  I do not want to give away too much about what he is trying to do and why, so I will just say that he is great as a volatile man cracking under extreme pressure.   Like Wilee, he looks from side to side to evaluate his options and is still just about able to continue to appear normal when he needs to.  Koepp keeps the gears moving like a Swiss watch, hitting rewind to show us how the characters got to where they are but keeping the pacing tight, with just the right touches of comedy, romance, and plot for a nicely satisfying little late-summer treat.

Note: Be sure to stay for the credits to see a clip showing Gordon-Levitt’s real-life on-set accident, which required 31 stitches on his arm.

Parents should know that this film includes extended peril and some violence including bicycle accident and a gun, characters injured and killed, and some strong language (one f-word).

Family discussion:  Why did Wilee prefer being a messenger to being a lawyer?  What does his name tell us about him?  What did the movie gain from being told out of order?

If you like this, try: “Quicksilver” with Kevin Bacon, “Cellular,” and “The Transporter”

 



Previous Posts

What's Up With My Family? -- App Helps Middle Schoolers Navigate Life
Middle School Confidential™ 3: What’s Up with My Family? is a new IOS app, the next installment of the series for tweens and teens. The third edition continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—who are realizing that growi

posted 3:59:49pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The Simpsons Binge Watch: Every Episode Plus the Movie
Get your food delivery menus ready.  Unplug your phone.  All 552 Simpsons episodes will be broadcast in order, starting tomorrow. They include scenes cut in syndication that have not been on television since the original broadcast. And of course they include some remarkably prescient moments tha

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Don Pardo
Don Pardo's face was not familiar.  But his voice was instantly recognizable.  We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he served as announcer from the beginning, celebrated his 90th birthday.

posted 12:44:03pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Gayle Forman of "If I Stay"
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week's movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she remembers incidents from her life with her family and with her rock musician boyfrie

posted 8:00:16am Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.