Ron Howard directs Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in the Formula 1 Drama Rush based on the true story of the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.
Sports themed movies are fertile ground for telling a compelling story and captivating the audience attention by getting them to cheer for the underdog against insurmountable odds and then letting them bask in the shared glory. Rush does not stick to this formula of the underdog versus the rest of the world. Rush is about two protagonists who have a very different take on the sport and in their own way are great at what they do. While acknowledging each other as their nemesis and arch rivals they do take turn to acknowledge the rival as being their driving force in wanting to do better.
Armed with a story steeps in the annals of the Formula one legends Peter Morgan pens a taut screenplay and scenes come alive and the back and forth between the two leads seems believable and engrossing at the same time as there are no grand dialogues just awkward sentences between a cocky Brit and a methodical Austrian as they try to one up the other both on the track and off it. Anthony Dod Mantle’s work behind the camera is exceptional in every single way possible. The side track shots of the cars zooming past are adrenalines pumping as well as the scenes at the Japanese grand prix are heart stopping with the use of slow-mo. Hans Zimmer provides another excellent score for a Ron Howard movie and in my opinion tops his Angels and Demons’ score which till date remains a personal favorite of mine.
Of the lead it is very hard to pick who does a better job as both the leads shoulder the entire responsibility of the movie on their very able shoulders. While Chris Hemsworth is good looking charismatic and cocky, Daniel Bruhl is awkward, methodical and measured in his approach. Hemsworth shines in the scenes he has a humorous line or two to deliver but he does equally as well with the scenes which require in him display his vulnerable side. Bruhl is enigmatic in his action speaks louder than words approach and shows he has as funny side as well. Olivia Wilde is mostly wasted by the other female lead Alexandra Maira Lara as Marlene Lauda is understatedly brilliant in her stoic and poignant portrayal of the woman who stood by Lauda’s side when he was recovering in the hospital.
The movie is not only for the formula one enthusiast as I am the farthest thing possible from a F1 enthusiast. It is an entertaining and moving feature on two of the sports biggest legends and a rivalry that is mutually symbiotic in that it almost kills Lauda while it still manages to give him enough drive to want to come back and reclaim what is rightfully his.
Ron Howard has created a gripping drama which happens to be based on a great rivalry in one of the worlds most popular sports. The acting is top notch the visuals are rich and textured and the music is amazing – I cannot recommend this movie enough – go watch it in the biggest screen possible as this is some heart racing and pulse quickening drama that is entertaining to the boot! Don’t miss this movie.