Film Review : Rush (2013)

IMDB Score – 8.3
Rotten Tomato Score – 89%
IMDB Top 250 – #140
Golden Globe Nominee for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Daniel Bruhl)

Directed By – Ron Howard
Starring – Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Pierfrancesco Favino

The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

I’m back. Along with having some family matters to attend to, I also have been busy as shit with my real person job and just haven’t been able to sit down and watch a film. I also just realized it’s been over two weeks since I’ve written a movie review and it’s time to get back on the horse. I picked a good film to come back to as the film ended up being a perfect example of powering through adversity and tragedy. I’m back bitches!

When I first saw the trailer for “Rush”, I was honestly not impressed. I remember muttering under my breath that it was going to be a completely cliche racing film with it’s cheap thrills and predictable outcomes. I really have to stop watching trailers and acting like a snob because I ended up really enjoying the film after reading so many positive reviews about it. The film tells the true story of the rivalry between formula 1 drive James Hunt and Nikki Lauda. It reminded me of an excellent documentary that is required viewing for anybody who enjoys racing or even documentaries in general. “Senna”, which chronicles a nearly identical rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, is a fantastic film that should be seen is you enjoyed “Rush” as much as I did. “Rush”, which took some liberties to dramatize the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda, still tells the story of what actually happened in the two years that the drivers were the best in the world. They are stories of true adrenaline filled eras that I don’t think have been seen since.

I think the first thing to be said about “Rush” is that it is an intense ride. Ron Howard, who I’ve always regarded as a very good director, crafted a thing of beauty when he made this film. I was on the edge of my bed watching this. It’s late where I live. I don’t usually watch films this late but I felt the urge to watch something but was a little skeptical on whether or not I was going to finish it. I had no problem finishing this film. The race sequences were some of the best action sequences of the last few years. Howard took advantage of every single sharp turn and car overtake to deliver a ride that made me feel like I was in the driver seat. Recently I drove down to Jersey City where they have some pretty fast go-karts. I think they got up to 45 mph which is nothing compared to the speeds of this movie but just fast enough to be an exhilarating experience. Watching the race sequences in this film put me right back in that kart flying around turns and overtaking fat middle aged men and their wives whom they dragged along onto the go-kart track. I should go back because it was honestly all I could think about watching the film. I didn’t expect that to happen.

The other great part of this film was the acting from both leads. Chris Hemsworth proved to me that he is a fully capable actor. I always thought he was just perfectly cast to play Thor and that his acting skills rode shotgun to a talented casting director but he really can excel in certain roles and he excelled in this. Daniel Bruhl however, stole the entire film. He perfectly portrayed the real life Nikki Lauda. He was able to get me to go back and forth between rooting against him and rooting for him. It’s a shame that most movies only consider one person to be the lead actor, usually the one who gets paid the most or is the most popular but this film proved that there can be two leads commanding the screen and when it really came down to it, Bruhl ran away with it.

I did have a problem with the film. The screenplay, which was mostly solid, failed miserably when it came to Olivia Wildes’ character. She was introduced and before I knew it she was married to Jame Hunt and before I blinked another eye she was gone. There was zero emotion whatsoever between the two of them. I barely saw them even kiss yet I was supposed to feel for them when the nature of their relationship came into question. It was completely necessary to even have her in the film and if the rest of the film wasn’t so engaging, would have completely distracted from an otherwise sound script. There was also way too many shots by Howard depicting nudity where there just shouldn’t have been. I’m a straight male, but even I was thinking “why the hell did you have to have these nude shots that contributed nothing to the film other than the source of erections?” It was just a strange tactic.

Other than that the film was pretty fantastic. It managed to balance the pretty boy lifestyle of James Hunt with the serious and precise lifestyle of Nikki Lauda without coming off redundant or preachy. It successfully ran home the theme that life will give you enemies and that they are just as important as friends. They give you something to be ambitious about and in the case of Nikki Lauda, fight through horrible circumstances. I don’t think it should be in IMDB’s top 250 films of all time but it was an addicting film with some of the best action scenes I’ve seen in a long time.

4/5




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3 thoughts on “Film Review : Rush (2013)

  1. Howard does something very smart in making us care, as well as be against, both of these guys and see why it is that the sport of Formula One racing is something they need. Not something they want to do. Good review.

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