Have car chase movies jumped the shark? Sadly, no. But I was delighted to see the chase movie genre has expanded to include bicycles in Premium Rush. Think of it as Smokey and the Bandit with bike messengers and NYPD cops instead of truck-driving southerners and good old boy county sheriffs and deputies.
At first, Dick and I weren’t sure if we wanted to see it. Cyclists already get such a bad rap as scofflaws with no regard for safety–theirs or anyone else’s. Why pay to see a movie about the jerks that give us all a bad name?
We went anyway and we’re glad we did. I won’t give out any spoilers, so let’s just say that that aside from promoting the misguided notion that fixed gear bikes can’t stop without a brake, and fueling the anti-bike crowd’s claims that cyclists have ruined New York City, the movie is great fun.
The action is fast, the bike handling is superb, and you genuinely like the heroes even if they ride like crazed, well, bike messengers. And the dirty cop villain alone is worth the price of admission. Unlike most action movies, there were no guns, almost no special effects, and the actors had the skills to do many of the bike stunts themselves. Best of all, the movie proves without a doubt that bikes have the upper hand in heavy traffic.
My only fear: boosted by the popularity of Smokey and the Bandit, sales of the Pontiac Trans Am jumped 70% in two years after the movie release. Let’s hope Premium Rush doesn’t boost brakeless fixie sales in the same way. There are enough bike messenger wannabees out there already.
Do you think that a movie like Premium Rush makes cyclists look bad? What about car chase movies, do you think they make drivers look bad? Is it somehow different?
About Bike Date Friday: Since September 2010, my husband and I have had a standing date every Friday night. We eat at a different place every week and arrive by bike. There’s no better way to end the work week.