Based on the true events of the 1976 Formula 1 season, Rush is set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of motor racing. Focusing on two of the greatest sporting icons battling over the ultimate prize, the world championship.
Directed by Ron Howard and with the screenplay written by Peter Morgan, this film is a story on a great rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).
The story follows their distinctly different personalities on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error.
As the season progresses both men enjoy a number of successes but also suffer a series of setbacks, both personally and professionally.
Hunt’s marriage to feisty model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde) hits the rocks and his eccentric supporter Lord Hesketh (Christian McKay) runs out of money, while Lauda survives a horrific crash at the German Grand Prix, requiring him to need extensive surgery.
The attention to detail in Rush is just a revelation. The sound and sights of 1970s racing is just perfect and the camerawork from cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, puts you right in the heat of the battle on track.
As for the two leading stars, both Hemsworth and Brühl deliver exceptional and complex performances that really showcase their desire and dedication to win.
In addition, it was really fascinating to see their mutual respect and admiration to one another despite their obsession to outrace and go for glory.
And yet, in my honest opinion Brühl’s role in Rush edges ahead of Hemsworth. His Austrian accent was spot on and even though he was playing a methodical and calculated character, which was a complete contrast to the wild and spectacular James Hunt, the German-speaking actor nails the personality of Niki Lauda perfectly.
Ron Howard’s direction is good and assured throughout the film, with the drama and excitement in the racing sequences the major highlight. With the cars screaming away off the grid, frantic gear-changes and overtaking moves really created the sense of exhilaration and thrills from an actual Grand Prix race.
In equal measures were the scenes involving the recovery of Lauda following his horrific Nürburgring crash, especially the surgery procedures. That was genuinely shocking.
As for the decision to include the real-life video footage of Hunt and Lauda in the final moments of Rush, this was inspired and it reveals the very significant moments that affected these two sporting heroes after the highs of winning the world championship.
So in conclusion, Rush is a truly excellent film. Beautifully directed by Ron Howard with a great script penned by the talented Peter Morgan, who also written the complex relationship between David Frost and Richard Nixon in the classic Frost/Nixon.
The film also showcases Formula 1 as more appealing to the non-petrolhead with fascinating characters, emotional scenes and thrilling races. Just like the actual sport itself!