“More powerful than the fear of death itself, is the will to win“-Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt
Academy Award winning director Ron Howard (“Apollo 13,” “Frost/Nixon”) chronicles the intense rivalry between two men cut from the same cloth but can’t help but collide on their field of battle in the docudrama “Rush.”
Chris Hemsworth (“Thor” “Snow White and the Huntsman”) is Formula One racing rising star James Hunt. Hunt is a talented competitor on the track but off the track, he enjoys his liquor and his women.
Daniel Brühl (“Inglorious Basterds,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) is Austrian racing technician Niki Lauda. Lauda’s talent lies in knowing what is in his car and how it can get him a competitive edge on the course. What sets him apart from the other racers is that he doesn’t care about what people think of him, personally or professionally, he is disciplined enough to focus on what is ahead of him.
Both Hunt and Lauda are from families that are involved in respectable business and they disagreed with their decisions to enter racing as a career, but they made the most of their decisions as best they could. Hunt elevated himself to Formula One racing by sheer talent, while Lauda bought his way in by investing in himself and his investments paying off.
Hunt and Lauda were bitter rivals from they time they raced against each other in Formula Three and that rivalry spilled over during their transition into Formula One. Their competition reached the point where they would literally, put their lives on the line in order to reach the finish line first.
“Rush” may have moments of fast paced action, but sadly the film does not live up to its name.
Ron Howard and Academy Award winning screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen”), team up to promise its audience an intense story of two of the greatest rivals the world of sports have ever seen but end up with a rushed and dry production.
The overall problem that this film cannot escape is its predictability. Even if you are not familiar with who Niki Lauda and James Hunt are, there is an immediate sense that the audience knows how this movie is going to end and it takes whatever surprise there might be in the movie out of the equation entirely.
There is essentially nothing compelling about this feature at all. Howard and Morgan are simply delivering a story about how rivalry shaped these two men and it doesn’t delve into the racing enough nor their personal lives enough.
Hemsworth and Brühl give decent performances but not enough to salvage the wreckage that is that movie.
Essentially, this story just zeroes in on Hemsworth and Brühl’s characters and only glimpses on the supporting roles of Olivia Wilde (“The Words”), Alexandra Maria Lara (“The Reader”), David Calder (“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”) and Stephen Mangan. The supporting characters are in and out of this movie so quickly, they are relatively a blur.
This movie may appeal to racing enthusiasts and sports historians but sadly, “Rush” is an overrated and unfortunate way of going to the movies.