Rush is a spectacular film. A film chronicling the rivalry between two of Formula 1’s most interesting personalities. Directed by double Oscar winner Ron Howard, Rush thrills until the credits roll, and is not a film just for F1 enthusiasts. Here’s my review.
Rush revolves around the rivalry between Brit James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda, the biggest stars of Formula 1 in the 1970’s. I have to be honest and say my knowledge of these two guys was limited to say the least. I knew Lauda had been in a crash, and that Hunt was a famous playboy, but I don’t exactly follow F1, never mind the history of the sport. This brings me on to one of the best things about this film; It’s not just for F1 enthusiasts. Much of film follows the two characters and many races are glossed over. Hunt and Lauda are played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl. I’ve liked Chris Hemsworth before in Thor and The Cabin in the Woods and he’s excellent here as James Hunt; a sex/drugs/alcohol obsessed playboy who thinks almost dying whenever he gets in a car is the best way to live. Hemsworth is great and plays the drunk, sad, man-child (one scene see’s a depressed Hunt ignoring his wife and instead playing with his scalextric) as well as he does the aggressive race star.
I think the real star of Rush however is Brühl as Lauda, Daniel Brühl was previously awesome as Fredrick Zoller in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Niki Lauda is the exact opposite of James Hunt preferring to be safe when racing, not partying and sticking with his wife instead of being with a different woman every night. But as most people probably know, something terrible happens to Lauda. It’s the circumstances leading up to his accident that really make you feel sorry for him. On the day of his accident, he didn’t even want to race. He tried to convince the other racer not to. Hunt wanted otherwise and Luda just couldn’t win against Hunt’s charisma. I just loved Brühl’s performance as Lauda, I couldn’t help myself emphasizing with him. I honestly hope that when awards time come around, Brühl gets some recognition for his stunning performance.
There is a great supporting cast as well, including Olivia Wilde as Hunt’s short lived wife Suzy Miller and Game of Throne’s Natalie Dormer as one of Hunt’s flings. But when the film is about two people like Hunt and Lauda, with the knockout performances of Hemsworth and Brühl there isn’t much time for anyone else. Still, the people around the two stars tell us a lot about them as people. Hunt is surrounded by messy, loud people like him. Preferring to get pissed after a win. Lauda’s team is more efficient, making his car as fast as possible. Because of this, people tend not to like Lauda, and mobs of screaming girls adore Hunt. Hunt is a celebrity, whereas Lauda is all business.
The scenes of racing in this film are breathtaking. I’m not a big fan of F1, but the way the races are directed make the race scenes in Rush more exciting than any Formula 1 race you are ever likely to see. It also helps that it’s set in the 1970’s where it wasn’t uncommon for a driver to die in a race. The sound of the cars revving up and bursting to life was just great on the big screen. These scenes are a great mix of racing and really well used CGI. Ron Howard has won 2 Oscars for a reason, his direction here is just brilliant. After watching this, you’ll forget that Ron Howard ever had anything to do with the The Dilemma.
One surprisingly element to this film was the soundtrack. Done by Hans Zimmer, I just didn’t expect it to be so awesome. The build up of music as the drivers are sat ready to race makes the scene so tense. Also, as the film is set in the 70’s, there are some great 60’s and 70’s rock tracks throughout the film. My favourite one when the two men first meet during their time as Formula 3 drivers. A race follows, with the sound of Gimme Some Lovin’ playing over it. It’s just so fun, and is a great scene in a time in these men’s lives when things weren’t quite as intense.
Overall, Rush is as great as its reviews suggest. It’ll probably be compared to 2010’s astounding Senna, but I think this film has the edge by not being a documentary. It allows the film to get inside the head of these two men, and is much more personal because of it. It’s amazing to see how Director Ron Howard has got the balance just right, and made this a film that can be enjoyed by F1 enthusiasts and non fans alike. I don’t think the action scenes have been shot just for fans of action, it’ll keep anyone on the edge of their seats. I think everyone could enjoy this film, and they should really try. Rivalries like the one seen in Rush are a rare breed because after all, so are the two men involved.
Reviewed by Jack 😛