Rush

  • Even if you’re not into Formula 1, or any other type of auto racing, Rush is the engaging true story about two competitive men whose fierce rivalry, fueled by their diametrically opposite personalities, was surpassed only by their intense, corresponding passion for winning. Both wanted to be on top, when there’s only room for one. The pic is a 50/50 split,perfectly balanced between their personal lives on and off the track and their love affair with cars.

    Aussie James Hunt(Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) is a hedonistic,unabashed freewheeling playboy, born to race and not be a doctor like his parents wanted, while Austrian Niki Lauda (The Fifth Estate’s Daniel Bruhl) prides himself on being a skilled, disciplined racing tactician who knows exactly what he wants in a car and is truly fearless when expressing his opinions about them- no matter what make. Heated contentions between them are
    well defined from their first encounter. It would last throughout their careers during the “Me” Decade” of the 70’s

    Rush speeds off immediately, from the 1976 German Grand Prix to a six year flashback where our rabid competitors actually meet. And it’s not exactly friendly. Both racers are subjected to a whirlwind of activities besides racing, such as negotiating contracts and deals, choosing their respective cars ( for Hunt, a Ferrari, for Lauda, a Mclaren) and race teams, in addition to both men getting married.

    Ron Howard, who for the first time since his 1977 directorial debut Grand Theft Auto, had to secure funding for a movie from outside the studio system, literally drives his passion for intense drama headlong into Rush. Like his other fine films, including Far and Away which did not garnish great reception, he has a flair for immersive stories no matter the genre. He always moves his main characters to the absolute center of your attention.

    Chris Hemsworth’s Hunt vies for the most noticeability. Temporarily trading in Thor’s mighty hammer for a Ferrari, he reaches inside to bring out the Formula One racers’cavalier attitude, especially towards women, trying to weigh that with racing cars and concentrating on winning every race he’s in.

    Hunt’s prolonged antagonist Niki Lauda is capably rendered in Daniel Bruhl. Like his turn as Daniel Berg, the ill-fated partner of Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate, he brings to the role a stark realism that is totally believable and not forced. You get to see his impeccable prowess for analyzing car problems simply by riding in them- and listening. He’s not as much of an avid partyer as Hunt, but he still celebrates his wins with as much gusto.

    Thankfully, scribe Peter Morgan, who worked with Ron Howard on Frost/Nixon, does not give the wives of these two entrants short shrift. Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara who play tolerant wives Suzy Hunt and Marlene Lauda, certainly do not garnish as much screen time as their husbands, but every scene their in pushes their men and the story forward.

    If you are indeed a Formula 1 race fan, or any other type of racing fan (NASCAR or Sprint Cup), from a layman’s perspective, Rush definitely lives up to itself. Literally as well as figuratively. It’s another distinctive triumph in the long list of fine films from Ron Howard, and with a little star power help from Thor’s Chris Hemsworth, he has brought yet another exciting true story to the big screen. He achieves a perfect symmetry between the visceral, inherent perils Hunt and Lauda faced on the track as well as the perils they both faced in life

    • Edwin Hopkins

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