Review #38 Rush
Directed by- Ron Howard
Starring- Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl
I don’t know much about racecar driving, but I like fast cars, and Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, so I thought hey! Why not?
Rush tells the story of two of the biggest names in F1 from the 1970s, Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). The film explores their relationships with each other and contrasting lives, both on and off the racetrack.
The first two thirds of Rush were pretty entertaining. Both Lauda and Hunt come from similar backgrounds: well-off, with parents who expected them to go on and become bankers or doctors, not “reckless” race car drivers. Lauda leads a quiet life off the track and acts deeply professional, going to bed early and rising early, no drink or drugs. Hunt, on the other hand, drinks minutes before and after a race, has a string of pretty girls following him around, and was famous for taking drugs.
The film depicts them as having a frosty relationship from the word go. They swear at each other, barely exchange pleasantries, and have a deep rivalry, which does not appear to be remotely friendly. Upon further research, I discovered that Lauda and Hunt actually LIVED together in a tiny flat in London in the early 1970s when they were first starting out, which is not shown anywhere in the movie. After the first half of the film, and up to a traumatic point, you feel like there’s something missing, and I think exploring the real depth of their friendship could have benefited the film. I would have had no idea they were even friends, let alone roommates.
I don’t know much about racing, so at times I felt like my lack of knowledge held back some enjoyment of the movie; I’d recommend reading a bit of background on the sport first. Hemsworth and Brühl play their characters well, but again, there’s still something missing. You expect Hunt and Lauda’s friendship to develop over time and it really mystifies me why the film didn’t depict their growing bond (apart from one pretty cool scene, but it’s only brief and I won’t spoil it).
Rush started off well but then I felt like the little something that was missing grew and affected my enjoyment of the film. Maybe go see Senna.
Warning- this film is not for the faint-hearted. Lauda points out that during every race, there’s a 20% chance of death. God knows what the likelihood of just getting injured is.