'Premium Rush' trailer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt bikes for his life, wears helmet

Columbia Pictures

An action-packed theatrical trailer for the new Joseph Gordon-Levitt film "Premium Rush" skidded online yesterday, and it might make you wary about getting on your bicycle again.

Written and directed by noted Hollywood screenwriter David Koepp ("Mission: Impossible," "Spider-Man"), "Premium Rush" follows a very bad day in the life of Wilee (Gordon-Levitt), a New York City bike courier whose latest delivery turns out to be more than he bargained for.

After picking up an innocuous envelope uptown at Columbia University, Wilee is accosted by Bobby, a dirty cop with a chip on his shoulder (Michael Shannon), and soon finds himself being pursued through the city by the police and others. The film co-stars Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez, and Aasif Mandvi. Check out the trailer below.

While Koepp's directorial efforts have been a mixed bag at best ("Secret Window" and "Ghost Town" are films best forgotten), it seems like it'll be hard to miss with a briskly paced, 91-minute action movie like "Premium Rush." The film seems like it does a fairly decent job of making the bicycle chases exciting and dangerous affairs, and they're no doubt aided by New York City's legendary traffic.

In case you were wondering if there was any Hollywood trickery or green screen afoot, that's really Gordon-Levitt darting through traffic on the bike. The actor actually sustained a pretty gnarly cut on his arm during filming in 2010, after crashing through the rear window of a taxi on set -- an injury that reportedly required an incredible 31 stitches. Handsome, talented, and now sporting a cool scar too? You're not making it easy for the rest of us guys, dude.

This is a very busy year for Gordon-Levitt. Between "Premium Rush" and Christopher Nolan's third Bat-pic "The Dark Knight Rises," Gordon-Levitt also re-teams with "Brick" director Rian Johnson for the sci-fi crime film "Looper" in September and will appear opposite Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated presidential biopic "Lincoln" at the end of the year.

Gordon-Levitt will also make his directorial debut this year with "Don Jon's Addiction," a comedy he wrote and will star in opposite Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. The "Inception" star has certainly come a long way since his days on "3rd Rock from the Sun."

"Premium Rush" is due in theatres on Aug. 24.

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