Director: Ron Howard
Genre: Action, Biography, Drama
Rush was released in 2013 and originally, I had absolutely no desire to see it despite the good reviews because I wasn’t interested in F1 or racing in any way. Since then, having had my eyes opened to the world of racing thanks to someone in my life, the film became more up my street and I recently got around to watching it. Rush is the true story of F1 drivers and rivals, Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Their racing and lifestyle choices, love lives and their merciless rivalry in which both of them were willing to risk everything to become world champion.
Twenty five drivers start every season in Formula One, and each year two of us die. What kind of person does a job like this? Not normal men, for sure. Rebels, lunatics, dreamers. People who are that desperate to make a mark, and are prepared to die trying.
This is an absolute must-see for sports lovers, F1 especially and although I can’t call myself a die-hard racing fan (yet) I got completely caught up in the action and intensity of this film. I’m a fan of sports films anyway, particularly ones based on true events and from what I’m aware from interviews with Niki Lauda, they got this one pretty spot on. I really liked that they gave an accurate portrayal of Niki’s driving career and personality traits and respected both him and his rival, James Hunt’s, life and memory. For someone like me, who didn’t know anything about this story or these two drivers, it really opened my eyes.
I’m not a fan of Chris Hemsworth (sorry!) but I can’t deny that he’s not a good actor and played this part extremely well. As an unbiased viewer, I instantly couldn’t like James Hunt because of his attitude and approach to the sport – whereas Lauda on the other hand, despite his flaws I got a much better vibe from and respected much more as a driver. Daniel Bruhl, although I haven’t seen him in anything else, blew me away and was captivating to watch portray this exceptionally professional and methodical sportsman.
The film was very much about how when you want something bad enough, you will literally do anything to get it and the 1976 championship and Lauda’s devastating accident just goes to prove that. Although quite graphic and difficult to watch, I had so much respect for Lauda following his accident; how determined he was to get back in the car and on the track – only 6 weeks after his accident and one scene in particular when he withdrew in the middle of a race, simply because the track was too wet and dangerous. Lauda still finished 4th in the Grand Prix of his comeback that year despite being petrified and his accident burns still bandaged.
The driver’s rivalry was captured spectacularly and the tension between them was palpable. This wasn’t a tale of hero or villain, who was better or worse, it was a story of competition and the lengths you’ll go to get what you want and ultimately, become champion even risking death to do so. Above all else, I thought this film was incredibly inspiring and F1 fan or not, it’s almost impossible not to get swept up in the action. As well as educational there was some beautifully captured scenes, especially of the races themselves and powerful bits of dialogue from the actors. Exhilarating and an absolute thrill to watch and a visually stunning portrayal of two very different but very talented drivers.