Entertaining, but average

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Joseph Gordon-Levitt may play a bike messenger, but does his new movie Premium Rush deliver? (Photo by Gage Skidmore used under Creative Commons license.)

By Jake O’Bannon

Have you ever been to a movie where you walk out of the theatre and you really have nothing to say? I don’t mean an “I’m speechless – I can’t believe we don’t know whether the top is going to stop spinning or not,” kind of silence. What I am talking about is when a movie is so average that you honestly don’t have anything good or bad to say about it after first review. You just pick up your popcorn, shake out your legs, and walk to the nearest exit of your favorite local cinema establishment.

Listen, I know my words have you on the edge of your seat just waiting to discover what the apparent masterpiece of a film I am talking about is. To be completely honest, this is the feeling I got after watching Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL) and Michael Shannon. For the most part, I try to avoid bashing a film, and it is not like I had high expectations going into the theatre. In fact, what drew me in were the two actors I just mentioned: Gordon-Levitt and Shannon.

In my humble opinion, there is not a more intriguing actor in “The Biz” right now than JGL. Since (500) Days of Summer, the thirty-one year old has been making his presence felt in a number of movies, some of my favorite being Inception, 50/50, and of course The Dark Knight Rises. Not only that, but he has become the poster boy for the hipster movement, even starting a company called hitReCord, which their Twitter page describes as, “An open collaborative production company directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Come work with us!” He is currently the definition of hip.

Then there is Michael Shannon, whom I consider to be one of the more underrated actors in Hollywood today (because I know you ALL were wondering). I was introduced to him in his 2011 Indie film Take Shelter, a role that nabbed him a number of award nominations last year. He has also played roles in other big films such as Vanilla Sky and Pearl Harbor. My calculations told me JGL plus Shannon would equal a quality film.

You knew I would eventually get to actually reviewing this film, right? Premium Rush tells the story of a New York City bike messenger (Gordon-Levitt) who finds himself delivering a package that contained more trouble than he ever bargained for. JGL’s character, Willee, finds himself being hunted by Bobby Monday (Shannon), a detective who is searching for more than just a crime. We follow the story from pre-delivery to the final hand off, experiencing a number of twists and turns throughout.

In the end, I was entertained. That is the best way I can put it. But let’s keep it real here; I didn’t have many movies to work with this weekend. Remember, this was the weekend that had the worst opening box office number for a movie…ever. Yes, “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” racked in a whopping $448,131 last weekend according to The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). That might sound like a lot, but think about it this way: according to Catholic Online, that means only 30 people saw this movie in each theatre over a three day period. That’s ten people in a theatre each day! Needless to say, it was not the best weekend in film history. Come save us, Christopher Nolan!