Rush tells the true story of the epic rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two Formula 1 drivers in the 1970s. Full disclosure, the extent of my racing knowledge comes solely from the Fast & Furious franchise (only kidding, kind of) ,so the fact that director Ron Howard ( A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) has made a thoroughly entertaining and engrossing movie on the subject is all the more impressive.
Fascinating Even for Non Racing Fans
As I said before, I don’t have any interest in the racing world, but like any good sports movie, that really doesn’t matter. Instead of focusing on the racing, director Howard keeps the focus on the two drivers, as played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl ( Inglorious Bastards).
Driver James Hunt, played by Hemsworth, was a true playboy who just happened to be a marvel behind the wheel. And Niki Lauda, played by Bruhl, was an uptight aristocrat who could not only drive, but was also a genius engineer and mechanic. The two couldn’t be more opposite, and it’s almost as though they were truly born enemies. It’s a fascinating relationship that gets deeper and more intense as the film goes on.
What’s really interesting though is that director Howard never lets either one of the main subjects be branded “the bad guy”. Both men were amazing drivers, but they were also deeply flawed, often sacrificing any true happiness outside of racing for the dream of becoming World Champion. It’s a smart move, and one that ultimately allows the audience to really see how these guys pushed each other, both on the track and off.
As Hunt and Lauda, Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl do an incredible job of bringing this rivalry back to life. Hemsworth has displayed cockiness before to great effect in both Thor and The Avengers, but with Rush he is allowed to dig a little deeper. His character never quite leaves the playboy persona behind, but as he is pushed by Lauda you see his focus shift and how he actually tries to become a better person as he comes to respect Lauda more and more.
Equally as good is Bruhl, who is quickly becoming one of those guys in movies that seem to pop up in everything. His character has an extremely thick German accent and a more than unusual appearance, but Bruhl plays it with such confidence and determination that you quickly move past that and start to become fascinated by the characters own determination and will to win.
Rush: Another Great Adult Drama
Even if Rush weren’t a true story, director Ron Howard has crafted a film that is so interesting and the script is filled with such realistic and fascinating depictions of its characters that it’s only made all the more enjoyable by the fact that it really did happen.
Racing fan or not, Rush is another great adult drama that is more than worth a trip to the theater.
Review by Jordan Hunt for CaryCitizen. Read more CaryCitizen Movie Reviews.