When was the last time you recall seeing an actual bicycle messenger? Unless you live in a densely populated, car-hating metropolis, chances are rather slim that you ever see someone on a bike with a package under their arm, ducking and diving all manner of obstacles before screeching to a halt in front of a skyscraper and racing inside to drop off said package just in the nick of time. Which is why it is simultaneously bizarre and fascinating to me that David Koepp would pick the high-stakes world of two-wheeled courier services as the frame for his next directorial project.

What's even more fascinating is the scale Premium Rush, which I am 99% positive is the name of a Capri Sun flavor I used to drink in the '90s, is set up to be. Sony is bankrolling the production, which Variety says they see as "a big-budget actioner, much like the films Koepp is known for penning, and will feature the kind of elaborate chases associated with a William Friedkin pic." The Friedkin emulation I can understand, as The French Connection still remains a benchmark chase film, but the big budget Koepp titles they're referencing include Spider-Man, Jurassic Park, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Maybe I just lack the fiscal recklessness required, but I find it a stretch to turn a film about a bike messenger who is getting stalked across the cityscape of New York by a package-craving dirty cop into the same league as dinosaurs, ancient temples, and do-good, radioactive mutants. I love a chase film as much as the next guy, and I probably love David Koepp's writing/directing gigs even more than the next guy, but he is going to have to shoot on location on every street corner of NYC, crash a couple of Bugatis, and hire Brad Pitt as the cyclist and Angelina Jolie as the dirty cop to drive up a big-league budget close to Koepp's other scripts.

Take Cellular for example. It's a briskly paced, always-on-the-move thriller that is essentially an endless chase scene that jumps between a variety of means of transport, and it only cost $25 million to make. I have a curious feeling about Premium Rush, despite the straight-to-VHS worthy title, because Koepp's previous directorial efforts Stir of Echoes, Secret Window, and Ghost Town have banked enough good credit with me to give the man a shot whenever he announces a new project. And I'm all for a thriller looking to give a new spin on an old formula. I just hope the desire to make a 'big-budget actioner' is an organic by-product of the story, and not a mandate from above.

(Editor's snark: Peter has simply GOT to see Quicksilver! --sw)
categories Cinematical