David Koepp has scripted many a hit Hollywood blockbuster (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, War of the Worlds), but his writing/directing efforts – such as Secret Window or Ghost Town – tend to be much less successful. He’ll try and change that with the upcoming thriller Premium Rush, which features the increasingly-popular Joseph Gordon-Levitt as its bicycle-riding male lead.

An official trailer for Premium Rush has popped up online, but does it make the film look more like an exciting thrill ride – or just another generic action flick?

Fortunately, it’s the former, in this case. Premium Rush is slated for theatrical release in the traditional bad movie dumping ground that is January (of next year), but the trailer footage alone suggests it could be one of the rare early releases that excels – rather than disappoints.

Here is an official synopsis for Premium Rush:

A New York bike messenger is given an envelope by a young woman at an uptown Manhattan college and is told he has 90 minutes to deliver it to an address in Chinatown. Complications ensue when an undercover police office appears and demands the envelope on special grounds. The truth, hidden motivations, and the life-and-death stakes on all sides are revealed through a series of flashbacks as the cop and the messenger engage in a length-of-Manhattan chase, racing against time after the messenger discovers the precious nature of the envelope’s slender contents.

Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) plays the “bike messenger” in question and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) is the covert cop who pursues him throughout the city – and, by the looks of it, the two participate in quite the daring game of cat-and-mouse.

Find out more by watching the Premium Rush trailer (via Yahoo! Movies) below:

Hyper-kinetic car chase sequences are Hollywood’s specialty, but Koepp looks to have heightened the stakes (and, possibly, the payoff) by designing Premium Rush as a thriller that really benefits from its unusual vehicle of choice – namely, the bicycle. Based on the trailer footage, the film looks to boast some creative and ingenious action scenes that not only utilize the increased mobility Gordon-Levitt’s biker character has, but also take advantage of its protagonist’s increased vulnerability. It’s all the more suspenseful, watching someone evade armed criminals and oncoming traffic on an unguarded bike – as opposed to, say, a muscle car.

Premium Rush otherwise looks like a pretty straightforward thriller – complete with a recognizable MacGuffin that keeps the plot and characters (literally) moving. All the same, the film’s non-linear narrative structure should help distinguish it from its similarly formulaic peers. That’s not to mention, Gordon-Levitt and Shannon are both consistently engaging performers – and its hard to imagine a film that pits them against one another in a deadly high-stakes game could go too wrong.

Premium Rush soars into U.S. theaters on January 13th, 2012.

Source: Yahoo! Movies