I’ll admit it, I don’t like Formula One racing, I have never understood the appeal of watching it, it’s boring, but despite this I still enjoyed Rush immensely, so if you feel the same way as I do about the sport don’t dismiss the film so quickly.
Set against the backdrop of the 1970’s (lovingly recreated by the way) Rush is based on the real life sports rivalry between two Formula 1 racers, the Englishman James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl).
Ron Howard is behind the camera in a return to form following flops such as Angels & Demons and 2011’s The Dilemma (show me one person who has even heard of that). In particular Howard has a great eye, and ear, for executing the races, placing the viewer not only in the driver’s seat, but also in the wheels, the pedals and even the igniting engine fluid of the cars in scenes that put The Fast and Furious franchise to shame.
It is testament to the director, the script and the actors that Rush remains just as enthralling off the track as it is on. Hemsworth and Bruhl both deliver career high, award worthy performances creating characters whose conflicting personalities spark off one another when sharing the screen.
My only real criticism of the film is the fact that it follows a rivalry between two people who have very little screen time together. This in itself isn’t the problem because after all they are in separate cars; they don’t need to be on screen together. However it is the minor characters that are used to fill the time between these scenes who aren’t fleshed out and given enough to do, in particular Olivia Wilde as Hunt’s first wife. Some might argue that a criticism is that the film follows basic sports movie formula (pun intended) including race montages and commentary from TV reporters, particularly in the final act. However, much like the 2011 film Warrior, Rush performs these clichés expertly and even if you know the outcome of the rivalry before seeing it the experience is inspiring.
Boasting terrific cinematography, heart racing sound design (including a score from Hans Zimmer that compliments the 70’s) and what will surely be a contender for best direction for Howard come awards season, Rush is highly recommended. Sports fans can go ahead and add another star.
Watch the trailer to Rush: