Fans of “Showtime” know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favorite actor. That means it’s going to be a pretty good year for me at the movies.
We saw Joe earlier this summer as a Gotham City beat cop in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and he’ll take on Bruce Willis next month in the time-travel thriller, “Looper.” But currently, he’s on the run from the law in “Premium Rush,” now in theaters.
In this little action film, which debuted last weekend, Gordon-Levitt plays Wilee, a daredevil bicycle messenger in New York City. He rides a fixed-gear bike without brakes and has a reputation for being reckless — this in a profession that already looks like one big, never-ending, high-speed, Hollywood stunt.
When Wilee picks up what he thinks is a mundane envelope, he becomes the target of a dirty cop (Michael Shannon), and Wilee’s wild ride through the city turns more treacherous than usual.
On paper, “Premium Rush” looks like it would be pretty bad. But Gordon-Levitt and Shannon pull out incredible performances (you know, especially for a B-movie). Between those and all the action, there’s simply nothing not to like.
You may remember my review of Shannon’s work in “Take Shelter,” an indie film that put him in the role of a quiet giant of a man with internal issues. In “Premium Rush,” Shannon is the opposite: He’s a cartoon, an over-the-top angry guy with, as his character puts it, “impulse control” problems. He’s pretty astounding to watch.
That makes me a really big fan!
Allow me also to mention that David Koepp, who wrote and directed “Premium Rush”, was the screenwriter for “Jurassic Park,” “Carlito’s Way” and “Panic Room.”
McBrayer’s column appears weekly in the Courier. If you’re a fan of Showtime with Sasha, watch reviews at www.coastalcourier.com.