DC nerds (by which I mean comic book fans, not policy wonks) are currently in a wait-and-see period. All eyes are on next year's "Man of Steel" to see if that somehow perpetuates a DC Movie Universe. One possible future includes a string of films jumpstarted by the Christopher Nolan movies. If things continue linearly from "The Dark Knight Rises" it means we may see Joseph Gordon-Levitt zipping across the night skies of Gotham as Batman. Or Nightwing. Or Robin. Or maybe we won't see him at all.
As you can see, where there are Infinite Earths, there is Crisis. The good news is this: if you want to see JGL as a superhero you don't have to wait for the Yellow Sun to align perfectly with the Hollywood studio system. You can go see "Premium Rush" this weekend.
"Premium Rush?" The bicycle movie? Hells to the why ee ess, brah. (No one in "Premium Rush" talks like this, don't worry.) What you'll soon discover in this energetic, entertaining flick is that JGL isn't New York's greatest bike messenger just because of his winning smile. It's because his character is a but by name a superhero.
Ignoring red lights? Riding uptown on a downtown avenue? Dodging taxi doors and pedestrians? A piece of cake for JGL when he gets in his hardcore cycle on. The film frequently slips into a fun "bike-o-vision," not dissimilar from Spidey Sense or Daredevil's Echolocation. (Only this is more modern because it is compliant with most mobile mapping software.) Using his velodromatic powers, JGL can "see" traffic patterns in ultra slow motion and make death-defying moves.
A Pesky Rival
At HQ, where the bike messengers all repair their wheels, hang out, drink potassium-rich sports drinks and look sweaty, our hero has a real noodge of a rival. Wole Parks' Manny is always challenging him to a race, taking his well-paying packages and chasing after his sometimes girlfriend. You know that before JGL defeats the real bad guy, he's going to have to win over machismo-prone Manny.
Which brings up the baddie, Michael Shannon's Detective Monday. Bug-eyed and hunched-over, Monday (who uses the name Forrest J. Ackerman as an alias, which is awesome if you get it) is constantly losing it, yelling, kicking, and... whining in such a way to make him a close second to Bane and the strangest and most enjoyable villain of the year.
We mentioned a would-be girlfriend. The lovely (and constantly glistening) Dania Ramirez plays fellow badass biker Vanessa. We in the audience know that she and JGL belong together, but she doesn't see it yet.
We don't know specifically why she's asking him to text to the hand, but we know that, like all superheroes, JGL's affaires de couer are just as difficult as his exploits in saving the day.
He's Doing It HIS WAY
Maybe Vanessa is hesitant to commit to a relationship because, let's face it, JGL is something of a psychopath. Yeah, he wears a helmet (most of the time) but gearshifts and brakes are verboten on his ride. "The bike wants to go fast" and "breaks mean death," he says, which, because JGL is awesome, somehow don't make you roll your eyes that much.
He's Got The Suit
JGL's beat-up, brakes-free bicycle is soon the most hunted thing on two wheels in New York. If that's his Millennium Falcon, he's also got a Jedi's robe. He's wearing a bright red shirt. The cops even call him "the guy in the red shirt." Clearly he doesn't watch Star Trek, because this time the crimson cloth does not equal a fiery death.
JGL laughs death and his red shirt directly in the face. Spills, jostles and broken ribs do nothing to slow him down. He can even do crazy jump maneuvers around and on top of parked automobiles, when the rest of us would just be clutching our sides going "ow! ow! ow!"
"Premium Rush" whizzes by so quickly, and with such propulsive fun, you have hardly any time to say "this is ridiculous." It proves that JGL is one of our most amiable actors working today, and, if you happen to work in an office, may make you wonder if the guy delivering packages also has X-Ray vision.
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