Rush is the perfect title for this film. The film moves fast. In fact, it never slows down. This is great in giving the whole movie the feel of a high speed race, but it causes some problems at certain points in the story. There are times when the movie moves so fast that it speeds past developments in character that are important to the story. In one key character moment we get flashes of what the character is thinking that are interesting, but seem to come speeding out of nowhere without any kind of build up to make these thoughts make any sense. The movie sometimes even skips over scenes and instead gives us text explaining what just happened. It’s true that the movie couldn’t possibly show every race involved in the story, but it is still jarring and disappointing to suddenly have text on the screen after a tease of a race that is about to begin.
The story of Rush involves two formula 1 racers named James Hunt and Niki Lauda. These are real life racers who started up a rivalry in the 1970’s. The story is an intense one that shows the two very different personalities of the two racers. The movie certainly has the potential to be a fascinating character study and at times it is. However, due to the movie’s pacing being too fast at times it never really gets to be the great movie that it could have been.
A problem with the movie that I wouldn’t have guessed before seeing it comes in the form of the sound design. Formula 1 cars are loud. This is a fact. The movie accurately portrays this. What comes as a problem is when the movie forgets this fact and tries to put other sounds in the film at the same time as the race cars speeding down the track. There is one race that features music to which you can barely make out the song because the cars are so loud. There are also races where there is dialogue going on at the same time as the race and you can’t really hear what the person is saying. The sound editor should have adjusted the levels of the various sounds during the race or just eliminated certain sounds altogether.
Visually, the race scenes are fine, but I think they could have been even more intense. There just isn’t much style to any of the races. They are well shot, but not really all that memorable in how they are filmed. In fact, that is kind of how the whole movie is. The two main characters and their personalities are memorable, but the way their story is represented on screen isn’t really memorable.
Rush is a good movie in that it has interesting characters and an intense rivalry between them. It is a frustrating movie though because the subject matter is more interesting than the movie ever really becomes. With a less bland style and something more creative than just text on the screen in certain moments the movie could have been something more. Rush is fast paced and goes down easy, but it just doesn’t leave as lasting an impression as it should.