Movie Review: Rush (2013)

Posted: December 24, 2014 in Drama
Tags: ,


James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) began their rivalry in Formula 3 racing where Hunt beat Lauda.  While Hunt was busy being a ladies man and getting married to model Suzy Miller, (Olivia Wilde) Lauda signed with Ferrari, and won the Formula One championship in 1975. In 1975, Hunt was still looking for a sponsor, late in 1975 he signed with McLaren, but his personal life is in shambles, his wife leaves him for Richard Burton.  Now, Hunt is ready to take on Lauda for the 1976 Formula One Championship.  Throughout the year, Hunt and Lauda were neck and neck for the championship, Lauda doesn’t want to race in the German Grand Prix, but is goaded to do so by Hunt, who sees Lauda’s hesitancy to race as a ploy to hold on to his slim points lead.  What happens in the German Grand Prix in 1976?  Who wins the Formula One Championship that year?

Rush is an interesting story, it’s an interesting story because of the rivalry that develops between two men who want to achieve the same goal.  It is most interesting as a character study.  There is a real and distinct difference between how these two men go about achieving the goal of being a Formula champion.  Niki Lauda is a serious, restrained, and almost studious student of the sport of auto racing.  James Hunt is a man who approaches auto racing by instinct, by feel.  He is not interested in restraining his baser instincts, in fact, he wants to engorge them.  Frankly, Lauda’s story seems more interesting, not only because of his rise to become a champion, but for what happens to him in 1976 and beyond, the movie really becomes engaging when it tells Lauda’s story.

The acting is for the most part good.  Chris Hemsworth is much better in Rush then those ghastly Thor movies.  That may be damning him with faint praise, but he does show some emotional connection in this character, which is lacking in his characterization of Thor.  But it is Daniel Bruhl that carries this movie and makes it worth watching.  Niki Lauda is not the most likeable person in the world, but Bruhl humanizes him, and makes him approachable.  The viewer can at least admire Lauda’s work ethic if not like him as a person, Bruhl lets all those complexities show, it is a standout performance.  Olivia Wilde on the other hand, gives a jaw-droppingly bad performance with a horrid British accent to boot.  There is nothing good to say about Wilde’s performance.

The movie is too long and the pacing is uneven, at times there’s too much exposition, I wouldn’t have been disappointed if Ron Howard cut Wilde’s character down or even cut her out.  Her inclusion fed the gossipy tabloid side of this movie and detracts from the more serious aspects of this movie. Howard does get good a good performance out of Hemsworth, which is an achievement worth noting, and a great performance from unknown actor Bruhl.  The racing scenes add excitement and dramatic tension to this film, so Howard once again deserves plaudits for his work on Rush.

Some nudity, both male and female, so if you’re a parent with young kids, put them to bed and then, enjoy.

Rush:  Rush out and see it.


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