IN THEATERS NOW, SOLID THRILLER THAT PLAYS WITH TIME
David Koepp's action-packed thriller Premium Rush finally opened in theaters last week. The film takes off from a terrific opening slow-motion shot set to The Who's Baba O'Riley, and never lets up from there, with a great soundtrack by David Sardy. The dialogue is rapid, matching the speediness of the bike messengers at the center of the film. Koepp and John Kamps have written a screenplay that manages to connect all of the characters in ways that sometimes seem too coincidental to be true, but it all moves so fast that it is easy to let go and just go with it.
Premium Rush jumps back and forth in time, somewhat like Brian De Palma's Murder A La Mod, showing certain scenes from different characters' perspectives. Koepp also did a bit of this with De Palma on Snake Eyes, although in that film, the jumps in time were presented as flashbacks. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is very good as the lead, and Michael Shannon has a role that allows him freedom of explosion, and he seems to have fun following that muse. (Also of note: Koepp cast his screenwriter friend Brian Koppelman as a mostly dialogue-free loan shark. Koppelman co-wrote the original draft of the as-yet-unmade Untouchables prequel, Capone Rising.)
This is Koepp's fifth feature, and all have been inventive works of well-crafted entertainment, from the horror-tinged thrillers he started off with (The Trigger Effect, Stir Of Echoes, and Secret Window), to the comedy Ghost Town, and now this action thriller. Hopefully it will be sooner than four years before we get another one.