Friday, 28 September 2012

REVIEW - PREMIUM RUSH


A neat little slip of a film - too neat, perhaps, and it slipped through the public's fingers at the box office. Director / co-writer David Koepp is a whizz at fleshing out high concepts like this one, and Premium Rush's plot folds into and out of itself constantly for the first 45 minutes, back and forth through time, elaborating via demonstration rather than explanation. We're initially perplexed - it's all the pieces of the puzzle with no apparent solution, until the final piece is revealed and Koepp can pursue the action sequences (his primary concern) in the knowledge that their causes and results have been granted the same degree of clarity with which they have been blessed throughout. The editing in the action sequences is superb, and the stunt work impressive, but there rarely seems to be much at stake. This is the film's biggest weakness. The film is undone by its lack of stature, and precious little sense of threat or tension, matters of which its slightness and brief runtime do not absolve it. Koepp, trained in family-friendly Spielbergian filmmaking, never once even seems to try to suggest that this won't all end happily, nor that all of its loose ends will be neatly, succinctly tied up. The neatness is thorough, and thus admirable, but dull and predictable, and requires too heavily on coincidence merely in order to exist. His (and John Kamps') screenplay deals effortlessly with plot, no doubt, but isn't half as clever nor as original as it wishes to be with dialogue, which thuds along, soundbite after tinny soundbite. It's also tough to accept Koepp's approach when moments of potential darkness do occur, and he seems to shrug them off. An intelligent film to an extent, but complacent and cliched too.