I’ll admit I’m a Formula One fan now, but will attempt to make this as unbiased as I can.
Rush is a brilliant film.
Ron Howard takes the wheel of this biographical racing flick, telling the story of rival drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s.
Director Howard adds yet another string to his eclectic bow of a back catalogue, joining the likes of Apollo 13, Cocoon, The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind. Rush proves once again he isn’t to be confined to a niche, as we are subjected to exhilarating and adrenaline-fuelled race set pieces – the likes of which haven’t been featured on the silver screen in too long a time. The film plants audiences right into the driver’s seat of the terrifyingly haphazard Formula One races in a time when health and safety were just words on the wind.
Howard is no slouch of a director and has created a “bang for your buck” showpiece that provides two hours of emotional rivalry between two incredible personalities, for a “modest” $38m budget. I mention money because the visual effects are fantastic – model cars and crashes recreated to look just like the real life examples to quite impeccable detail.
Despite an understandable modicum of artistic license, the film stays true to famous camera footage, quotes and the personalities of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). However it is the compelling rivalry between the two drivers that really pulls audiences in.
I found this despite having limited knowledge of the real life events, so it certainly should not deter any non-fans of F1, even if they wouldn’t normally look twice at a racing film. The onscreen chemistry is fantastic – the methodical Lauda and the playboy Hunt were the real life chalk and cheese and the actors deliver spot-on performances. Peter Morgan’s crackling screenplay deliberately and thrillingly misleads the audience, casting the drivers in shades of grey rather than painting them as a clear protagonist and antagonist. The graphic retelling of Lauda’s injuries are a particular highlight – it’s not every day a film can conjure a combination of discomfort and fascination in its audiences so well. Clearly the person who fainted in my screening wasn’t expecting it either.
With great direction, quality acting and a fittingly roaring soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, Rush is a drama you would be mad to miss.
Written by Kenny Masters