Sunday 1 June 2014

Rush (2013)

I share my thoughts on 2013’s Rush, a Formula 1 film directed by Ron Howard focused on the intense rivalry between Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth).

I’ve only recently started getting into Formula 1, but it’s always been on the edge of my interests up until a few months ago so I know the basics of the sport, and have even played a few games. However, Rush marks the first time I’ve watched a Formula 1-centric film, and Ron Howard has managed to deliver an impressive film that is probably among my Top 10 favourite films of last year, with a great storyline that wouldn’t be viewed like it was if it was made up. The fact that all of this happened is incredible, and Howard manages to stick closely to the truth as he crafts a film that will have you gripped for the entirety of its 123 minute running time, Formula 1 fan or not.

The casting is great. Chris Hemsworth, primarily known for his role as Thor in Marvel’s movies, takes the reins of arrogant British playboy James Hunt, who serves as the foil for the calm and composed Niki Lauda, who’s played equally well by Daniel Brühl. Both actors put in a strong performance as the main cast and there are others who also contribute well – such as Olivia Wilde, who plays Suzy Miller. The acting really makes this film work, and combined with a great storyline, this is something you won’t want to miss.

The racing scenes, when they’re there – are great, and another of the film’s highlights. We get typical sports clichés in the form of montages and commentary – however, the racing sequences are pulled off so well that it won’t bother you with some great uses of cinematography to make them gripping, enthralling and very awesome. The use of soundtrack, mainly composed by Hans Zimmer, provides a great addition to what becomes a very entertaining film, and really helps to great the tension. Zimmer has put in some great work on most of the soundtracks that he’s contributed and rarely disappoints – so it’s no surprise that this is a good addition to the film.

However, it’s not perfect. There are a few flaws in the film – there isn’t enough character development with Lauda and Hunt both remaining pretty much the same as they started, and the racing sequences, whilst good – always felt like we could have had more of them. However, the personal rivalry between both is played out well, and is just as thrilling as the CGI-enhanced racing scenes themselves – despite the problems that I’ve already mentioned.

This is arguably one of the greatest sports films that I’ve ever seen. It’s smart, intelligent and entertaining – with some of the most exciting footage from any film on screen coupled with some amazing casting. Howard is a confident director and fails to disappoint, having appeal for both hardcore fans of the sport as well as casual ones. Highly recommended, but sadly it’s not quite a perfect 5 star film.


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