By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Aug 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

"Premium Rush," opening this weekend, features a bike messenger who must ride for his life when a package brings him unwanted attention. Maybe it's because I don't live in a big city like New York, but in this Internet era with email and texting, the idea of a lowly bike messenger being so crucial to a story seems pretty goofy. The Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller seems pretty sane, however, when compared to these five other absurd transportation-based action films.

"Air Force One"

Before I continue, it should be noted that Wolfgang Petersen's 1997 blockbuster is an awesome movie. The cast, including William H. Macy, Glenn Close and Gary Oldman, is great, and the action on the presidential plane is fun and well directed. It doesn't even start off that absurd either; the idea of Air Force One getting hijacked combines the audience's personal fear of flying with the public fear of the country's leader in peril.

However, "Air Force One" moves from plausible to ridiculous as soon as Harrison Ford's president starts doing his best Schwarzenegger impression and slowing taking out the terrorists, complete with action movie one-liners ("Get off my plane!"). What it loses in reality, it gains in sheer entertainment value.

"Under Siege 2: Dark Territory"

Much like "Air Force One," "Under Siege 2"'s concept of setting an action movie on a train isn't all that absurd. While it still plays second fiddle to the plane in terms of mass transit popularity, trains have seen an increase in riders over the past decade (Amtrak's ridership rose from 20 million in 2000 to 30 million last year), and they still provide a fast, tense setting for a fight scene or climactic shoot-out.

The part where it gets ridiculous, however, is when Steven Seagal gets involved. The 1995 sequel involves Seagal taking a trip with his niece (Katherine Heigl, in one of her first roles) when terrorists hijack the ride. It sounds just goofy at first, but the presence of Seagal makes almost any premise seem utterly preposterous. Just look at the DVD cover – featuring the actor holding onto a speeding train with one hand, a gun in one hand and a face of stone – if you need to be convinced.

"Snakes on a Plane"

The infamous movie-turned-Internet sensation "Snakes on Plane" can be congratulated for one thing: It proved that there is a limit to how stupid a movie can be before audiences decide they've had enough. The 2006 action thriller became a pre-release hit when fanboys discovered the hilariously straightforward title (it was almost renamed "Pacific Air Flight 121") and the bombastic Samuel L. Jackson took the lead role.

Despite all the Internet hype, however, the movie flopped. Director David R. Ellis never found the right tone for the movie, and the B-movie fun viewers hoped for turned out forced. Even the Jackson's legendary proclamation felt rushed into the film. It appears there might not be a line between making an intentionally bad movie and making a just plain bad one.

"Speed 2: Cruise Control"

"Speed" is often considered one of the best action movies to hit theaters. Its premise sounds goofy at first, but seeing it on screen, it seems surprisingly relatable and plausible. Plus, director Jan de Bont and screenwriter Graham Yost milk the concept for all of its intensity. Unfortunately, de Bont ended up over-milking it in the end, resulting in one of the most notorious sequels in history: "Speed 2: Cruise Control."

The simple bus scenario was thrown out the door and replaced with a cruise ship. I've never been on a cruise, but they don't seem particularly fast, a problem considering speed is the whole point of the series. As a result, sequences involving the boat crawling toward an oil tanker and a populated dock have the same amount of tension as watching spilled syrup. Keanu Reeves will never be known for his great acting skill, but at least he had the brains to hop off this sinking ship of a franchise.

"Chill Factor"

If there was a Mount Rushmore dedicated to actors who careers were ruined after winning an Oscar, Cuba Gooding Jr. could take all four spots (though he'd get some competition from Halle Berry and Roberto Benigni). Most people see the 2002 combo of "Boat Trip" and "Snow Dogs" as the beginning of the end, but the signs were there three years earlier when the Oscar winner starred in "Chill Factor," an action chase film involving an ice cream truck.

In the movie, Gooding Jr. plays an ice cream truck driver who unwittingly must drive a temperature-sensitive chemical weapon to safety. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't even have the common decency to be hilariously awful. Instead, "Chill Factor" is remarkably forgettable, grossing barely $11 million with a $70 million budget and turning Gooding Jr.'s once promising career into a cautionary tale.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.