I was one of the few that was not really a big fan of Ron Howard’s Rush. However, with the film recently being released on DVD and Blu-ray in these parts of the world, guest reviewer extraordinare ‘my cousin Damo’ thought he would take a look.
Rush (2013) is a biographical drama that depicts the six year rivalry between Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Thor), two Formula One drivers and the events leading up to the 1976 Formula 1 final at the Japanese Grand prix.
Honestly, I was a little wary to watch this movie; the only credits I could remember for director Ron Howard were Happy Days (had some good times with that show) and that horrible movie about the Grinch…. If you want to check that out; don’t. Ever. Seriously. So given my knowledge of his track record – car racing themed pun, hahah – I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I was pleasantly surprised with this film though. For anyone unaware of the story, Lauda’s comeback is really the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve ever heard about, (won’t give anything away but it really is amazing). The way the film depicts the drivers’ rivalry is done quite effectively. The comparisons of their Yin and Yang personalities; Lauda and Thor – I mean James Hunt – are done in a way that highlights the events and happenings that caused the friction between the two.
The clash of Lauda’s “its all business” mindset and Hunt’s “lets do whatever we want, drink as much as we want and do naughty things with girls whenever we want” outlook on life made it hard for me to choose who I liked more. Whether to choose Hunt’s unmatched passion for racing and cheating death whenever he could, or Lauda’s neutral outlook on the sport he was so good at paired with his unabashed confidence in himself and his abilities. I’ll leave you guys to decide that one.
Hemsworth’s job at playing James Hunt was well done, but jeez it unfortunate that his English accent made him sound just like Thor the whole time.All we needed was the switch to Shakespearian language and I would have been asking “Doth Mother know you weareth her drapes?”
Yes I know that line by heart; and yes I enjoy a bit of The Avengers (2012), what of it!?
As for Bruhl – a guy who I don’t even remember in Inglorious Basterds (2009)_– I thought his performance made the film. His ability to portray Lauda so close to perfect left nothing to be desired. I loved every aspect of his portrayal and it was really just flawless.
There are some great action shots during some of Lauda and Hunt’s races, some metaphoric visuals of Hunt’s heart beating in time with his F1 car before a race and the mutual respect they both felt towards each other is all depicted really well, although neither driver would willingly admit that respect to the other. One thing I didn’t find particularly good, was the introductive narrations by Lauda and Hunt. I found them a little too re-tell and reminiscent, like the ones in the beginning of Sin City (2005).
I enjoyed Rush, Ron Howard did a good job; Daniel Bruhl created a stunning reflection of one of F1 racing’s most well-known names; and though Hemsworth will forever remind me of Thor, known from movies like Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Thor: The Christmas Special (forthcoming), he held his own well in a good performance. This film hit me on an emotional level and I enjoyed it even though there were small setbacks that occurred in the film for me. Just a heads up, though this film is an essential and should be seen by all; there are some specifically graphic scenes from which I cringed (cough cough hospital scenes including some old 70s way of vacuuming a guy’s lungs out instead of giving him a needle of sleepy stuff). But this is coming from a kid who has chosen to not see most scary movies and who even got scared in Life of Pi (2012), so on second thoughts, you should be right.
Verdict: Pint of Kilkenny