Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of "Premium Rush"

The movie wasn't that bad, a miracle considering I was in a less-than-objective state of mind before the Joseph Gordon-Levitt 10-speed epic began.

We got to the AMC Hamilton about 10 minutes before the 11:05 matinee. The lights dimmed, the promotional display appeared, and then the lights went back on. For 40 minutes, the audience waited and waited, held hostage by that banal, mall-friendly soft-rock that chain theaters insist on playing.

What bothers me wasn't the delay. Errors happen when humans are involved. What whipped me into a frenzy was that audience members had to trek from the theater to the customer service desk for an explanation, which was insulting. After hearing the second or third complaint, a manager should have walked into the theater and said the following:

"Folks, we're sorry about the delay. We're having some unanticipated issues with the projection system. We hope to have them fixed shortly. If you do no want to wait, we'll be happy to issue passes for the 12:05 show or refund your money. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Myself or someone else with AMC Hamilton will be back in 10 minutes with an update. Thank you."

How hard is that?

I've had good experiences with AMC Hamilton, so I'm hoping this was just a poorly handled situation, but I fully intend on writing a letter to theater management. Your free time is a valuable commodity. Don't stand for someone unapologetically frittering it away.

Here's the review of "Premium Rush,"--the reboot of "Quicksilver" we've all been hungering for. It appeared in this week's "Weekender." Flip to page 27 to read it.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, I reviewed "The Bourne Legacy." Flip to page 29 for the review.

Jesse Hassenger, our critic pal at "The L Magazine" had an issue with my complaint on the amount of backstory and dialogue in this outing, saying that Paul Greengrass' previous efforts exhibited the same qualities. Perhaps. But Greengrass always made me feel like I was peering into a world ripe with intrigue. In "The Bourne Legacy" that "we're through the looking glass" dialogue is all the movie offers. And it's boring, destroying any momentum. We're mired in a swamp of details. It reminded me of my days covering town council meetings--with slightly more gunplay.

1 comment:

jesse said...

That's a fair point, saying that Greengrass was better at creating a feeling of urgency in his Bourne sequels. But to me, those movies did often feel like Greengrass was manufacturing that tension, rather than it actually coming from what was happening onscreen. He has a jittery, immediate style, and to me Legacy feels very much like one of the Bourne sequels with some of that style stripped out -- so yeah, you miss some of the kinetic energy (as well as Matt Damon), but it's also not a fundamentally different type of movie. In fact, sometimes I appreciated the scaling back on the handheld camera and little control-room zooms, and found Norton as compelling a shadowy bad-guy figure as anyone in the other movies.

I certainly don't mean to praise The Bourne Legacy to the rafters -- it's ultimately a pretty forgettable film. But to me it doesn't really underline Greengrass's filmmaking skill in the previous two movies so much as show what a thin layer of style was painted over a pretty rote story that didn't necessarily need sequelizing.