9 Overall Score
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Appeal: 8/10

Racing sequences | Intriguing, complex characters

Didn't get under Hunt's skin enough

There’s a point in Rush in which Chris Hemsworth’s James Hunt says: “The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. It’s a wonderful way to live. It’s the only way to drive.” This is a common theme throughout the F1 racing drama, that death is always very close for those in the – as they put it – “tobacco-sponsored coffins.” Rush is an intense, incredible ride from the perspective of two rivals, James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). The drama on the track and off is electric, with every race feeling life a fight to the death and the unraveling of the two legends unfolding before your eyes.

RUSHThe most impressive thing that director Ron Howard accomplishes in Rush is how likable Hunt and Lauda come off. Hunt is a handsome British playboy and is easy to root for, but the analytic Austrian that encases Lauda isn’t so easy to like. Yet, thanks to masterful performances from both Hemsworth and Brühl, the audience falls in love with both racers, even through their many flaws. Throughout the 1976 season you get to see these two rivals fall in love, work their way to the top, and shoot each other hateful glance all the while. Rush is more than just a racing movie, it’s a character study of two dense, complicated legends.

But while the drama out of the “tobacco-sponsored coffins” is enthralling, the driving scenes are raw and fast, just like F1 should be. While the movie starts with the two in F3, once they work their way to the big leagues everything changes. The key races in Spain, West Germany and Japan are expertly shot, from the reactions of the racers to the bombastic crash scenes, in particular the wipeout on the vicious German track in the pouring rain. The dangers of the sport are prevalent throughout the movie, and are a main reason for the stress of the two protagonists as we watch each subsequent race take its toll on the two.

???? RushOne thing that felt off about the movie was that I felt like the viewer’s got to know a lot more about Lauda as a person than we did Hunt. It isn’t due to the performances either; Hemsworth is great as Hunt, but not much of his problems are explained. Lauda, on the other hand is fleshed out to the max, especially after his marriage and the effect his wife has on his views of the sport. I wanted to know more about Hunt, and why he was driven so hard to win.

Other than not getting to know enough about Hunt, Rush is a near flawless experience. Death lurked around every corner of the track, making every race seem like it could be the last. The characters off the track were fully fleshed people that the audience couldn’t help but root for. In all, it’s everything that both a fan of the sport or even someone who has never watched a car race in their life can vastly enjoy. It’s a triumph to the racing genre and is an amiable drama in itself. Rush an exciting experience.


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Author: Justin Peterson View all posts by

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