The epic action-drama stars Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives.
Set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing, Rush portrays the exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the world has ever witnessed—handsome English playboy Hunt and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Lauda. Taking us into their personal lives on and off the track, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error. If you make one mistake, you die.
Going into the film I knew nothing of the two real life characters Hemsworth and Bruhl played and honestly I think that really helped in my enjoyment of the film. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but having no previously knowledge of what was going to happen made it that much more suspenseful. I had no idea who was going to win or lose, what would happen to any of the characters and if any of them would die (I secretly rooted for a major death, but I won’t say whether or not it happens). If you don’t know the story, do yourself a favor and go into the movie blind and see what expectations you develop while watching it.
I’m not overly familiar with Daniel Bruhl. Looking up his resume, he’s been in a few movies I’ve seen or at least heard of, but don’t be surprised if he gets more work from this. He’s really good as, well it depends on how you look at things. He’s Hemsworth’s antagonist, but is he really the antagonist of the film? You don’t necessarily root against him, but are you rooting for him either? It’s a solid dynamic Ron Howard created.
Of course with celebrity and money comes the women. Olivia Wilde co-stars as Hemsworth’s wife. Alexandra Maria Lara plays the wife of Niki Lauda. She’s another I’m not overly familiar with, but I expect more to come from in the American market. There are other ladies that come in and out of the story (pun intended) as you expect in the lavish lifestyle of auto racing.
Oh yeah Chris Hemsworth is in the movie. Thor and The Avengers put Chris on the map, but Rush will take him to the next level. There is no doubt he’s a superstar, but the film showcases the fact that he can actually act and isn’t just a big action goon. Hemsworth has huge on screen presence and whatever the proverbial “it” is, he clearly has it. He looks good in movies, will win you over with his smile, but Ron Howard pulled a fantastic performance out of Hemsworth who will have people talking. Hemsworth and Bruhl have great chemistry together and have a believable rivalry. And looking at the photos at the end credits of the 2 actual men, whoever cast Hemsworth and Bruhl did a perfect job.
Ron Howard crafts a masterful film. It captures the feel and vibe of 1970s Formula 1 and has you wondering what will happen next. Not knowing the true story, I can’t tell you how much he deviated from the truth in order to “Hollywood-ize” the story, but the resulting film is a winner. Hemsworth proves he’s a force to be reckoned with and will be a major box office draw for the next decade. Rush expands to a wide release this weekend and expect it to be standing at the top.
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