Rush is a sports drama based on true events, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, about the rivalry between Formula One racers James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brühl).
The cinematography and art direction are beautiful. The look and feel is authentically 70’s without screaming, ‘Hey, look at me! I’m soooo 70’s!’
The racing is loud, stylish, and exhilirating.
Hemsworth is, as always, extremely watchable.
Daniel Brühl’s performance is consistently strong as well.
Suffers more than many sports movies from a near-constant reliance on sports announcers and news broadcasters explaining the action.
The film cuts quickly from event to event throughout the film, not taking time to explore the characters as real humans beyond the two or three elements about their characters that the film is most interested in. This makes it difficult to connect with them as real people, particularly in the early going.
You’ll like this movie if you:
*Love the feeling you get from a period piece that really nails its period.
*Enjoy inventive and deftly executed action.
*Like watching Chris Hemsworth do anything.
You’ll hate this movie if you:
*Require your sports movies to focus on the people in the midst of extraordinary events, not just on the events themselves.
*Have a low tolerance for the trope of news reporters and announcers narrating the action for you.
*Hate the sound of screaming engines.
The Bottom Line:
It’s very surprising that a director with Ron Howard’s track record has created a film where character is not central, but that’s what we have in Rush. We get just enough information about Hunt and Lauda to understand why they race the way they do and pretty much nothing else.
Howard has chosen to structure “Rush” like a highlight reel, replete with constant voice-over by commentators and announcers. We’re given little blips of non-racing character moments in between slightly longer blips of racing action. The end result is a film of exciting and well-filmed racing action without any characters you can sink your teeth into, or indeed experience any inspiration from.
That being said the film looks so good and the racing and crashes are so well-filmed, that it’s ultimately a pretty entertaining experience. Not what it could have been, perhaps, but worth at least a matinee ticket price.
“Rush” is rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use.