Perfectly balancing drama with action, Rush is compelling viewing for both Formula 1 fans and those with little interest in the sport.
In the 1970s, British playboy driver James Hunt is looking to break into Formula 1 racing. His rival, the methodical Austrian driver Niki Lauda has the same aspiration. The pair’s rivalry only increases as they chase their dream…
Ron Howard’s film is so well executed that it will enthrall viewers with no interest in Formula 1. It might actually work better for those who are not too aware of the rivalry between the two drivers; in this way it retains the sense of mystery and tension. Even for those who know the outcome, Rush is a most engaging film.
The story itself is not a complex one. The film pits one strong character type against an opposing one. It is the development of these protagonists and the depth of their relationship which pulls viewers in.
Rush boasts a brilliant screenplay from Peter Morgan. He really draws the two protagonists well and makes the audience care about the rivalry. The narrative is very well crafted. The emphasis (and the viewer’s allegiances) shift throughout the film.
Ron Howard directs the racing scenes with aplomb. The scenes in between help to build to the tension of the races. The driving sequences are high-energy pieces, with bombastic sound, a quick cutting rate and a combination of shots and angles. These combine to produce highly exciting sequences that situate the audience at the heart of the action.
Chris Hemsworth is most charismatic as James Hunt. He successfully portrays the playboy with a burning ambition. Daniel Brühl is well cast as Niki Lauda. His countenance is effectively jarring to Hemsworth’s charm. Olivia Wilde is decent in a supporting role.
Rush‘s premise may not appeal to all, but the end result is most satisfying. A fantastic sports drama.