Two summers ago all the usual suspects (aka. bike messengers in NYC) were involved in shooting a movie. Not the usual street riding alleycat videos, but a real big budget hollywood affair. Then in the third week of August, Premium Rush was released in theaters nation wide. From the #BikeNYC perspective it was almost like a senior yearbook, with everyone in it. But – have you ever tried to look at someone else’s yearbook/photo albums? Unless you’re pretty close, it’s usually painfully boring.
The Real Deal:
Here’s Austin, a messenger and bike racer from NYC, who was the lead actor’s main stunt double. The fun part of the movie is when you can tell it’s Austin’s face barreling down some crazy street scene. Which is to say the special effects were a little half baked.
Kym Perfetto, stunt double for the lead actress getting prep’d to bash in a cab’s review mirror:
And SQUID! As always, Kevin Bolger, NYC’s messenger general and official spokesman represents heavily in the film, even playing himself and getting his messenger company, CycleHawk represented. Dozens of other regulars were given ample face time in scenes, which might have been used to make it ‘authentic’ but also had a strong element of comedy, or maybe that’s how it always seems when all your friends are paid to recreate themselves within a cheesy plot.
Now that I live in LA, I wasn’t able to attend the world premiere in NYC, but participated in the LA premiere at ‘The Grove’ through Orange 20 Bikes before the official August 24, 2012 release date. The shop and surrounding neighborhood were plastered in posters and movie promos, which added to the excitement. If you haven’t gone to a movie with a cult following in a herd of at least 15 people, you really should. And that’s what made it enjoyable for me: the group ride to the premiere, the jokes and impromptu stunt re-enactments on the way home, hollering at the screen when friends showed up looking overly tough or silly.
Oh you want a real review? These people have opinions about the classic element of the movie from other perspectives:
The most balance review that I (ahem..) agree with? From We Got This Covered.
My biggest problem with everything was how generic and cheesy it was from the story, not so clever backwards and forwards structure of how the story comes together, the tepid romance, the generic stereotypes and all the formulaic hollywood stuff that got in the way of great riding, good actors and the chance to really do something genuinely awesome. So far ticket sales are not that fantastic, which is a bummer because urban cycling definitely deserves a feature length film that can glorify any number of stories and capture the imaginations of people who don’t already live it everyday. Here’s some shots from the World Premiere in NYC on August 23, 2012.