At its best, “Premium Rush” is a genuinely fun movie that could have been incredibly mediocre had it not been for the always-stellar casting of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon. At its worst, it’s just painfully average and unexciting; a typical high speed chase movie— except on bikes!

The unfortunately titled “Premium Rush” follows Levitt as a wildcat bike messenger named Wilee who, naturally, plays by his own rules (rules that include riding around Manhattan on a fixed gear with no brakes, because those things are possible to do in Hollywood’s version of Manhattan).

Wilee is pitted with the task of getting a gravely important package from a university student to Chinatown within 90 minutes time, all the while trying to avoid Shannon’s crazy, crooked cop character.

For your typical high-speed chase movie, it’s actually quite a bit of fun and, frankly, there just aren’t enough movies about bikers.

At times, the film seems too caught up in trying to be innovative and unique—most notably in the sequences where the route Wilee must take around the city is shown in full-on Google Maps mode. But the rest of the time, it’s evident that director David Koepp and company just want to have Jackass-level fun—as evident with its excruciating but always interesting wipeouts.

At its core, “Premium Rush” is all about showing love to the bicyclists; the guys crazy (and bad-ass) enough to race through the busy streets of New York for a whole lot of pain, minimum wage and the rush that comes from it.

It’s not the best product in the world, but it’s the kind of movie meant for the waning days of summer—the type that provides an enjoyable getaway for an hour and a half.

Overall Grade: B-


“Premium Rush” opens in theaters today, click here for theaters and showtimes.