Premium Rush Review – Fixed wheel lunacy

Premium Rush

Fixed gear. Steel Frame. No Brakes. Can’t stop. Don’t want to!

Wilee – Premium Rush

Over the last few days I have been watching Premium Rush in bits and pieces whenever I have had five minutes to enjoy a bit more. It is a 2012 film about lead character Wilee, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is a cycle courier by choice. The story line is fairly obvious, he has a package to deliver and a dirty cop wants to get the package instead. Let the fun begin!

Premium Rush features a lot of crazy cycling action, but we aren’t talking over the top Vin Diesel xXx style stunts here. All of the stunts seemed achievable albeit on the edge of human ability and skill, particularly when strung together in such a fashion. Wilee’s cycling style is particularly outlandish, relying on simply locking the back wheel to stop which results in a few nice drifts and neat moves while threading through the traffic. In other words the action is over the top, but doesn’t quite stretch into the realms of being utterly unbelievable, which makes it all the more enjoyable.

The main characters are all very interesting and have some great personality quirks. The dirty cop was great fun and clearly lacked any decent sense of judgement.  There were also plenty of other colourful characters and a sense of humour pervaded throughout. There was very much a Sherriff Buford T Justice vs The Bandit (Burt Reynolds, Smokey and the Bandit reference, for those too young to know who Sheriff B is) theme running through it, with the same tired bike cop being encountered in several fruitless attempts to catch Wilee.

All in all I thought that Premium Rush was well worth the watch, but it probably wont mean quite as much to those that haven’t on occasion diced with traffic on a bicycle or sought that extra kick of adrenaline elsewhere. I used to commute through Plymouth on a fixed wheel single speed bike when at university and I used to love it. I never had the guts to ride brakeless though!

This film strictly gets a 2 or 3 out of 5 type score from most normal film review sites, but if I was to put it on a scale it would be 8/10 stretching to a 9 just for having the balls to make such a movie. It bucks the trend to go totally overblown and unbelievable, has some really likeable characters and is all the more fun for it.

Running Film Review – Run Fat Boy Run

Run Fat Boy RunThis is a recent Simon Pegg film which is more than a little daft, it does have a few laugh out loud moments as well as one moment in particular that I had to “get over” to be able to enjoy the film. More on that in a minute. Does this count as an inspirational film? I think so on the grounds that at the beginning Dennis is overweight and has a few personal issues, but at the end he is seen looking a lot fitter and his life has taken a turn for the better. Running was central to the change and was key to giving him a much greater sense of self worth. Read on for more.

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Running Film Review – Chariots of Fire

On my quest to find British sporting films Chariots of Fire soon came to the top of the list. Ordered for a couple of £s from Amazon and finally got around to watching it this weekend in the post event haze after the Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series half marathon. It is based on the story of two British track athletes who compete in the 1924 Olympics for different reasons. One is a devout Christian and the other a determined Jew. This film has some good moments, but the ending felt a bit flat and it struggled to keep my attention. [Read more…]

Cycling Film Review – Breaking Away (1979)

Breaking AwayThis is the first of our film reviews which will focus on the rare beast that is the inspirational sports film. The rare comes from the fact that we will only consider films that focus on cycling, running or swimming or something tenuously linked to those topics. We aren’t going to limit ourselves to just new films, so if you have an old favourite let us know what it is and we’ll review that too. Anyway, click below to read the review of Breaking Away, first released in 1979.
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