Let’s Get Reel

Rush

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I should preface this review by saying that I absolutely cannot stand racing as a sport. Not a fan of NASCAR or F1. That being said I’m a sucker for a good sports movie, and Rush is one of the best sports movies I’ve ever seen.

Rush is a Ron Howard project, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl as James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two Formula 1 Drivers who feud during the 1976 season. Hemsworth plays the carefree playboy Hunt, whose driving instinct on the course is second to none but is known for taking too many risks. Bruhl plays a cold, calculating Niki Lauda, a young Austrian who is an F1 prodigy. Now, in a lesser writers hands this match-up could easily turn into a Good Guy vs. Bad Guy scenario, but Peter Morgan balances the two characters and shows the leads in enough detail that the audience sympathizes with both. This makes the final race between the two that much more heart wrenching as you want both to win, but you know only one is walking away with the title.

I cannot stress how the portrayals of Lauda and Hunt are what make this movie. Each character is fleshed out to the degree that either could be considered the protagonist or the antagonist. They come across as real people with flaws and desires, instead of beings who exist to drive forward a rivalry plot.

The movie is also surprisingly emotional at times. Both drivers go through some tough times and I choked up a bit in several scenes focusing on Bruhl. It’s tough not to feel for these guys as they go from rivals to bitter enemies, all while they try to live their lives when involved in what is arguably one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

The movie is not without its faults, however. The supporting cast is incredibly undeveloped and because the movie tries to make its portrayal of each driver equal, Lauda and Hunt can occasionally come across as assholes, especially early on before they’ve had any development. When that development does kick in though you’ll quickly forget any misgiving you had before hand and once the setup is done Rush is one hell of an experience.

I’d absolutely hate to spoil any of the character development in this movie, but suffice to say that such refined and perfected sports movies like this don’t come around often. If you’re into sports movies, especially biopic sports movies, you will adore this movie. Even if you don’t care for racing or sports in general the characters are well developed enough that you’ll enjoy the movie regardless. I give Rush a hardy recommendation; don’t miss this one folks.

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