You think you know early on just what sort of movie Premium Rush is going to be when the dastardly envelope that Joe Gordon-Levitt's bike messenger is set to deliver is labelled by his boss as a say-it-with-me "premium rush" job, which is a ridiculous phrase that doesn't exist in the real world and was invented by screenwriter/director Daivd Koepp so he'd have a terrible Nineties-feeling exxxxxxtreme title to slap on the pile of pages he had sitting in front of him. (It could also have been called Mountain Dew Commercial: The Movie.) That is to say, I thought this would be a silly movie with a couple of actors I like very much slumming it that would throw reality to the wind and go for broke with ridiculousness.
Unfortunately the movie only makes it half-way and never really lives up to the promised awfulness of its title - it's silly and JGL and Michael Shannon are most certainly slumming it, but it never stands proudly waving its freak flag like I'd hoped - it keeps its two wheels pretty firmly planted on the ground. I mean sure all of the characters have the resiliency of Wile E. Coyote, and Michael Shannon gets some laughs the couple times his character's allowed to express that wacky brand of eye-bugging Shannon-esque insanity, but nothing much soars. It does end up feeling like a Nineties throw-back, but it only racks up the standing of a sub-par Speed knock-off - Chain Reaction with wheelies.