Although the recent Joseph Gordon-Levitt bike messenger flick Premium Rush has inspired some controversial reviews and worthy discussions about the city's relationship with bikers, it has been somewhat of a bust at the box office. Which means that it probably won't take the place in our heart reserved for Quicksilver, the classic, awful '80s bike messenger movie starring Kevin Bacon: "You're smart, you have brains, and you throw it all away on a god damn bicycle?"
The movie has it all: there's the '80s synth-heavy soundtrack; Bacon going from a pinkie ring wearing stock broker to a bad ass cyclist; the biking tips ("Street sign says one way east...I go west"); the extreme cycling tricks ("risk is purely personal, and power is in your every move" as the voiceover puts it); young Laurence Fishburne in a very brief role; and even though it's set in San Francisco (and was largely filmed in LA), everyone has a NY accent! This is the film Bacon once called "the absolute lowest point of my career."
It's still possible that Premium Rush could become the cinematic time capsule of NYC's relationship with cycling in the early part of the 21st century. But it'll never be the definitive bike messenger movie for one simple reason: no film can hope to scale the heights of Quicksilver without having a bicycle dancing scene.