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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. He and his stellar band perform a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Charles calls “Creole Soul” on "The Hamilton Live."