It takes a special breed to be a bike messenger in New York—dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies, open doors, and eight million cranky pedestrians. Each day, riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and suicidal nutcases, risk becoming a smear on the pavement when they hit the streets with another delivery.
But it's all in a day's work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a law school drop-out who became a messenger for the simple pleasure of doing something he loves, and getting paid for it. Wilee makes a name for himself as one of the city's best messengers, known for his agile and aggressive riding skills and prompt deliveries—and he does it all on a fixie, a super lightweight, single-gear bike with no brakes.
But a guy who's used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when a routine delivery turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan. When Wilee picks up his last envelope of the day on a "premium rush" run, he discovers this package is different. This time, there's a dirty cop who will do anything it takes to get his hands on it, even if it means getting rid of Wilee.