News / Arts & Entertainment

Courier Delivery Becomes Race Against Clock in 'Premium Rush'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Alan Silverman
In Premium Rush, a routine delivery for a New York bicycle courier turns into a race against the clock when a mysterious stranger tries to hijack the package.


On any business day, crossing the street in Manhattan is likely to mean a close encounter with a bicycle courier. They speed from one one end of the city to the other with rush deliveries.

Wilee is one of the fastest among the hundreds of two-wheeled messengers.
But after he picks up a 'premium rush' package, he discovers someone will stop at nothing to keep him from making the delivery.



Premium Rush is written and directed by David Koepp, whose action films range from Jurassic Park to Spider-Man.  He calls it a fresh take on an old Hollywood standby: the chase.

Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
x
Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Director David Koepp on the set of Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
"We've all seen car chases a million times," notes Koepp,  "but the consequences for car chases are dented fenders or smashed windshields and in movies it's certainly been explored fully. The thing about a bike is the slightest contact can kill you. So you feel it when you're watching the movie that the risk is much higher."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee. He's no stranger to action films like Inception and the current hit The Dark Knight Rises. He was intrigued by this character's embrace of that risk.

"He is a guy that lives very much in the present, and there is a really strong upside to that," the actor says,  "especially because maybe nowadays more than ever we're a culture that is sort of obsessed with the future, making plans and 'what am I going to be?' 'what's going to happen not just next week, but five years from now?' All that stuff …and Wilee is a character who has very much turned his back on that way of thinking."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
x
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dania Ramirez star in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush." (Photo: Sarah Shatz)
Dania Ramirez co-stars as Vanessa, a fellow bike messenger. She says making the film was physically demanding because they really were in Manhattan traffic.

"Most of the movie we were riding bikes, doing all the dialogue while riding bikes," she explains.  "A lot of the training - we trained for six weeks prior to going to New York City - was just a lot of endurance because you couldn't run out of breath. You had to get your scene across and still be going really fast in the midst of New York City."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
x
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in Columbia Pictures' "Premium Rush."
Keeping the pace brisk, Premium Rush plays out in real time. Most of the action takes place within its 90-minute length. Michael Shannon co-stars as the villain chasing the valuable package. And dozens of real New York City bike messengers join the actors on screen.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."