YOU’VE got to hand it to the crew behind the filming of this super-paced adrenalin drama about a day in the lives (and possible death) of New York City’s close-knit battery of gung-ho bicycle messengers.
Director Koepp has successfully put his audience slap bang in the middle of the jungle that is the Big Apple’s traffic grid, so we actually become the cyclists who weave and dodge every obstacle imaginable as they race across Manhattan, delivering items which you can’t send online – and with such breakneck speeds and impossible manoeuvres they are circus acrobats in their own right.
These amazing sequences, as Wilee (Gordon-Levitt) and his co-couriers map out the best possible routes on their smartphones and then proceed to execute their lightning reflexes to avoid collisions with pedestrians, taxis, et al, are the best thing about the film, so it’s a great movie premise in any event.
But it also has a somewhat goofball, humorous and even touching plot involving a crooked, gambling-addicted cop and a desperate young mother who become entangled in just one single, seemingly routine delivery that Wilee is assigned.
It’s all played out in real time – but also with rewind techniques just to add some twists as to why the “ticket” the super-fit messenger is carrying suddenly becomes a life and death affair.
The philosophy of these two-wheeling junkies is simple: they don’t want to be desk-bound and would rather risk life and limb just for the pure rush of their job.
Gordon-Levitt is spot on as the young dude having an on-off relationship with Vanessa (Ramirez) while their fellow deliverer Manny (Wole Parks) adds a love triangle dynamic among all the sweating and bruising.
Shannon also shines as the dirty cop who is driven to distraction by the trio.
It’s simply laced with pace.