First thing’s first. I love great motorsport movies. Bike or car. As they have come out since Blu-Ray became a format ‘Rush’ now sits proudly next to the excellent MotoGP documentary ‘Fastest’ and the award winning ‘Senna’.
Naturally I would have loved to have seen this all fresh and new at the cinema.
This is how my local cinema used to look:
This is it now:
So short of the amount of round-trip hours needed to go the cinema these days, I have been excitedly waiting for January 27th, as ‘Rush’ was due to be my birthday present!
Then it magically appeared from Santa instead! Merry Christmas indeed!
So, to the film. I knew the subject well. As a period movie the seventies seemed alive with good use of colour tone and props. I’ll overlook Hunt’s trimphone having the wrong ring as I grew up with one in my house (same colour too!) as hardly anyone else will have noticed! There’s a few bits of racing truth omitted or altered for the cinema too, but it all helps the film run smoothly.
Chris Hemsworth did a solid job of portraying James Hunt and looks like he had a barrel of fun evoking the British drivers lavish playboy lifestyle. Hunt was a true character of the sport and Hemsworth’s acting is filled with his spirit.
The star turn though comes from Daniel Bruhl. Playing the moody ‘Rat’ Niki Lauda, the other necessity for a good F1 vs battle – the natural racing brain, is much more of a stretch for an actors talent and is performed to perfection by Bruhl, who is a great piece of casting visually as Lauda.
It is easy to see why he is a Golden Globe nominee for his turn in the film.
The film’s focus is the pairs physical dedication and opposite psychology over the infamous 1976 Formula 1 season, which though enthralling and emotional, especially when you enevitably reach Lauda’s crash, but this means there is a sparse amount of what the fans of the sport tune in for religiously every weekend – racing.
What racing there is is a beautifully choreographed feast when necessary inter-cut with archive footage to really give the feel of the danger and the speed of car racing 1970’s style.
The result is, as the movie is ‘based on a true story’ (a phrase that can kill a flim’s appeal in an instant!) you reach exactly the conclusion you were expecting, the two men are who they are and that is what fuels each of them to race, to live, but it is a story told beautifully by director Ron Howard.
He himself claimed to have found the film to be his toughest reality test since involving NASA for Apollo 13, but his love for the sport is evident and he has successfully made a film fans can enjoy but which has a strong enough, well told story to (hopefully) entice outsiders into the F1 circus.
I just really would have liked a little more racing to have made a thoroughly enjoyable movie spot-on (for me, at least!)
The special features on the disc consist of ‘deleted scenes’ ‘The real story of Rush’ and ‘Race for the chequered flag: The making of Rush’ each of which are interesting in their own right and a plus for fans of Formula 1.