Premium Rush

Rated 4.0

Directed by David Koepp (who co-scripted with John Kamps), Premium Rush is a chase movie involving bike messengers taking breakneck chances through, across, over and around Manhattan traffic jams. Its 90-plus minutes of more-or-less non-stop filmed-on-location action is an extraordinarily kinetic mix of live cycling action and nifty digital effects. Brilliant Oscar-worthy editing by Jill Savitt and Derek Ambrosi is a key ingredient in all this, and the whole proposition is made especially engaging by the characters’ shenanigans and those of Koepp and Kamp in the storytelling as well. The central plot thread has an acrobatic bike messenger named Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) trying to make an urgent delivery of an envelope while pursued by a menacing plain-clothes cop Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon) who has designs of his own on that same envelope’s peculiar contents. Gordon-Levitt, droll and quick-witted, makes a particularly lively hero for this little tale. His name derives from Wile E. Coyote of cartoon fame, and he zips, zooms, crashes, bounces, hurdles, changes direction and zips again in live action worthy of his namesake. Cinemark 14. Rated PG-13.