Movie Review: Rush
A rivalry born in the 70s, Rush tells the story of James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Don’t let the advertising fool you, while you see Chris Hemsworth up close as James Hunt the movie is really more about Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). The film takes you from the early 70’s to the year of Niki Lauda’s crash.
Starting when they were both in Formula 3, James Hunt is a wildly charismatic racer from Britain who wins often, parties hard and romances many women. Niki Lauda is a relatively unknown from Austria. He knows much about how cars run, he’s not necessarily the best racer and he buys his way into Formula 1. He’s not well known or even liked and that will prove to be his biggest weakness. For the ladies we get a full backside view of Chris Hemsworth within the first 20 minutes of the film. As Rush takes place over a 6 year span we get some background into both men’s lives. James Hunt marries model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde) as we get to see their marriage implode. Niki by chance meets Marlene (Alexandra Maria Lara) She doesn’t know who he is and he’s slow to making things official with her. There’s a lot of development in their relationship until the eventual wedding including how he doesn’t seem to understand how much she loves him and how he can’t give her his all just yet. This is one of the many ways the film contrasts between their lives.
Rush acknowledges that their rivalry is not as fierce or as deep as the public made it to be at the time. They each are so very different, Niki is calculated and measured while James is reckless and lives hard. Their differences are so apparent you can’t understand how they would ever be the friends they were later in life which is not shown on film. You get an idea as the 19 season goes that the feed off of each other on the track with each trying to out do each other. The crash that almost kills Lauda shows a different side to both men as it changes the tide of the season and the 2 battle each other to see who wins the season. I suggest you not read the wiki entry on the season until afterward.
Ron Howard once again has a hit on his hands. There’s a great balance here in the lives of these too with the backdrop of the sex and drugs of the 70s. You get the idea of the type of person Jame Hunt was. All he ever wanted to do was live life to the fullest. Niki wanted to prove his critics wrong and be the smartest man in the room. While they had different paths its felt as though they both achieved what they aimed to do and were happy doing it. I fully enjoyed Rush from beginning to end. And a great story intertwined with the racing to keep you on your toes.
My Rating: Full Price
Director: Ron Howard
Studio: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Release Date: September 27, 2013
Run time: 2 hours 3 minutes
MPAA Rating: R