Each sport has its share of famous rivalries. Some were friendly and some redefined the sport and those involved. These always seen ripe for the big screen. So it stands that director Ron Howard would bring us one of Formula 1 racing’s biggest in “Rush.”
Following Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and British James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), “Rush” explores the origins of the rivalry of two fiercely competitive men. Not content waiting for their big break, they somehow manage to jump-start to the Formula 1 circuit and quickly make names for themselves. The film studies the playboy lifestyle of Hunt and Lauda’s workaholic isolationist style, both on and off the track.
Like all sports films, our action scenes derive from recreations of the sport themselves. In “Rush” it’s no different. Howard has crafted a nice balance between characters and racing, even if the latter becomes mostly montaged. As a whole, the film is a solid story that paints the men as frank as possible. Though Hunt appears to be focus in the advertisements, it’s Brühl as Lauda that is truly the lead role (and one that has Brühl stealing every scene).
Though the film is structured in a predictable manner, it still manages to feel fresh despite its tendency for melodrama. It isn’t a great film, but it’s one worth exploring. Be forewarned though, fans of “Days of Thunder” will have a lot of déjà vu. 3 out of 5 stars
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