Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Directed by Ron Howard.
2013. Rated R, 123 minutes.
Chris Hemsworth
Daniel Bruhl
Olivia Wilde
Alexandra Maria Lara
Pierfrancesco Favino
David Calder
Natalie Dormer
Stephen Mangan
Christian McKay
Alistair Petrie
Colin Stinton
Julian Rhind-Tutt

In the mid 70s, two of the up and coming names in F1 racing are James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Bruhl). Making things more interesting for fans of the sport, they hate each other. That only makes sense considering they are polar opposites. Hunt is a tall, good looking guy who parties every night and obliges as many groupies as possible. Sure, he loves racing, but he loves the lifestyle it provides him with even more. Niki doesn't seem to have any friends at all, nor is he looking for any. He eats, drinks, and sleeps racing. His goal is to win the F1 championship every year for the rest of his life. Lots of animosity between the two, on and off the track, ensues.

Hemsworth is in fine form, turning in a wonderfully charismatic performance. He perfectly embodies everything about James Hunt. The most amazing part of his work is that we admire and pity him all at the same time. On some level, we want to be him, to be that carefree, that confident, that attractive. We also realize his existence is almost entirely superficial. The one bit of substance he has is his burning desire to defeat Niki Lauda. Aided by a great script, Hemsworth lets us see both the man's bravado and his vulnerability.

As Lauda, Bruhl also gives us the goods, albeit in a less flashy role. He makes the ultra-focused, but seemingly less interesting person, a fascinating specimen. We don't really like Lauda, but come to understand him. Despite Hunt's best efforts, he never becomes the villain. He just isn't the life of the party. Still, we come to admire him as well for his resolve and his passion to be the absolute best he can be. We just wish he were a nicer guy about it.

While the two guys keep our attention off the track, what happens on it gets our blood pumping. The races are beautifully shot and the conversations between the drivers and their teams helps us get inside the competitors' heads. When there are crashes, we fully comprehend that life is hanging in the balance. It all adds to the feeling that each guy, no matter his approach, is a daredevil risking it all each time he gets behind the wheel. That understanding is key to the movie. Without it, we cannot grasp the gravity of decisions made by each guy at crucial moments. These moments are not only crucial to the race they're in, or even just their careers, but their lives.

Instead of being your typical underdog story, Rush gives us two such characters and pits them against one another. That these two are championship material is never really in question. Our doubt, what keeps us on the edge of our seats, is whether or not they will destroy each other in the process. In the end, we realize that this is truly the story of James Hunt, however it could not be told without Lauda. Furthermore, when the credits roll we are still conflicted in our feelings about Hunt and his accomplishment.

MY SCORE: 8/10


  1. This is such an awesome movie, I actually made it one of my 'top 10' from 2013. I'm kinda biased because I'm such huge F1 fan but I'm glad to see the film getting the love it deserves!

    1. I'm not much of a race fan. Though if forced to choose, I'd definitely pick F1 over the dreadful NASCAR. Regardless, this was still a very fun movie to watch. Like with any good sports movie, it's not about the sport itself, but the people involved in it. Thanks for reading and glad to "meet" you. I'll be sure to check out Feeling Fuzzier today.

  2. Great review! I like what you said about this not being a typical underdog story. That's so true.

    1. It uses some of those elements, for sure, but Ron Howard does a great job staying off of that well beaten path.

  3. I've never been into F1 and was practically dragged to the cinema for this, but I absolutely loved it. I thought Chris Hemsworth did a great job but Daniel Bruhl just stole the show for me. Great review!
    - Allie

    1. Like I said, I'm not a racing fan, either. However, there's just no denying a good movie.

  4. I kinda want to see this, but I'm not a racing fan. I am a car fan. I just prefer 60-70s American muscle. I heard it's really good though. Hemsworth is certainly easy on the eyes.

    1. I'm highly recommending you see this. It's just an excellent flick. My wife doesn't care one bit about racing or cars, but thoroughly enjoyed it. She likes looking at Hemsworh, too. So, there's that.

  5. Good review Dell. What this movie does well is that it has us care for both of these racers, as well as realize their faults as well.

    1. It most certainly does. The best part is that neither is made out to be the good guy or the bad guy.