|Premium Rush is a 2012 American action film directed by David Koepp and written by Koepp and John Kamps. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez and Jamie Chung. Set around a bicycle messenger who is chased around New York City by a man who wants an envelope the messenger has, it was released on August 24, 2012, by Columbia Pictures and received positive reviews from film critics.|
The film is not shown in chronological order, and contains numerous flash-forward and flash-back cuts, indicated with an overlaid digital clock showing the time advancing rapidly forward/backward to the next scene. In chronological order the events are:
Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New York City bicycle messenger alongside his ex-girlfriend, Vanessa (Dania Ramirez). Her roommate, Nima (Jamie Chung), delivers $50,000 that she has saved for two years to Mr. Leung (Henry O), a Chinese hawaladar, in exchange for a ticket that she must deliver to Sister Chen, buying a place for Nima’s son and mother in one of Sister Chen’s ships that smuggle people from China to the United States.
Mr. Lin, a local loan shark, learns of the ticket and how whoever returns it to Mr. Leung can collect Nima’s money. He then approaches Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), a gambling-addicted NYPD officer who owes him money, offering to clear Monday’s debt if Monday gets him the ticket. Monday begins searching for Nima, who decides to hire Wilee to deliver the envelope with the ticket to Sister Chen at 7 P.M. After Wilee leaves, Nima is confronted by Monday, who coerces her into revealing that Wilee has the ticket and handing over the delivery receipt. After Monday leaves, Vanessa finds Nima, and learns the contents of the envelope.
Monday catches up with Wilee before he leaves the campus where Nima lives and threatens him for the ticket. Wilee escapes and heads to the police station to report Monday, only to find out he’s a police officer, and hides in the bathroom, where he opens the envelope and finds the ticket.
After he escapes the station, Wilee angrily tells his dispatcher, Raj (Aasif Mandvi), that he is returning the package so that someone else can drop it off. Returning to Nima’s college, Wilee leaves the envelope, which is picked up by his rival, Manny (Wolé Parks). Before Manny picks it up, however, Monday calls the dispatch to redirect the delivery to a different address.
As he is about to leave the college after returning the envelope, Wilee runs into Nima. He confronts her about the ticket, and she reveals the truth. Guilt-ridden, Wilee tries to catch up to Manny, who refuses to give Wilee his drop. They race each other and in the process, are chased by a bike cop who had earlier tried to arrest Wilee. As they approach Monday’s location, the bike cop tackles Manny out of his bike and arrests him. Vanessa, who learns of Monday’s trickery and races over to warn Manny, appears, grabs Manny’s bag and gives it to Wilee.
As they were about to escape, however, Wilee is run over by an oncoming taxi. He is put in an ambulance with Monday, while his damaged bike is taken to an impound lot, with the envelope hidden in the handlebars. Monday beats Wilee into offering to give Monday the envelope in exchange for his bike.
Wilee tells Monday that the envelope is in Manny’s bag, and Monday leaves to search it, while Wilee meets with Vanessa in the impound lot. She gives him the envelope, which she had retrieved, and he escapes on a stolen bike. Monday, realizing Wilee has tricked him, pursues Wilee to Sister Chen’s place. Wilee’s stolen bike breaks and he steals the bike belonging to the cop who chased him throughout the movie. Meanwhile, Nima calls Mr. Leung for help. He deploys his enforcer, the Sudoku Man, to help her.
As Wilee reaches Chinatown, he is confronted by Monday, who is threatening to kill him. However, Vanessa arrives with other messengers, dispatched by Raj, and delays Monday, giving Wilee time to deliver the ticket to Sister Chen, who calls the Captain of her ship and tells him to allow Nima’s family inside. Outside, Monday is confronted by the Sudoku Man, who shoots him in the head and leaves. Nima arrives, after a phone call from her mother confirming that they got on the ship, and meets with Wilee and Vanessa.