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

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Leyla McCalla takes up not only the guitar, but the banjo and cello to perform songs from her new disc, “A Tribute to Langston Hughes,” music that mixes the Creole rhythms of Haiti with the French Quarter flavor of New Orleans on this edition of "The Hamilton Live."