Thrills on a bicycle

Premium Rush Columbia Rating: 14A 91 minutes

A thriller involving bike messengers in New York may not sound all that exciting but Premium Rush is this year’s best action movie so far.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays New York’s fastest bike messenger. Late one day he is asked to deliver a rush envelope across town by 7 p.m. But before he can even start a nasty man tries to get the envelope and chases him through rush hour traffic in his car when he refuses to give it up.

Turns out the man (Michael Shannon) is a dirty cop with huge gambling debts and the envelope contains a ticket worth a lot of money. In an interesting play of going forward and back the story is unveiled and we come to learn why everything is happening. But as we come to understand the plot, there is one heart-stopping bicycle scene after another as Gordon-Levitt and others race madly through traffic.

Apparently director and co-writer David Koepp says none of the amazing and sometimes unbelievable bicycle stunts were faked with computer effects, but a few do look impossible. Our hero believes in top speed and uses a stripped down bike with no gears, not even any brakes, as he whizzes through pedestrian intersections, red lights, down one-ways the wrong way, through buildings etc. You will not be bored.

Gordon-Levitt (who looked so good in 50/50) shines here and is completely credible. He must have trained long and hard to bike so well and it really shows.

Rating: five deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

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