Thursday, April 10, 2014
A More Humanistic Film About The 'Rush' Of Racing
Race car driving isn't exactly my cup of tea, and I watched this film with a rather open mind. But, when I watched this film, I was surprised by how this film wasn't necessarily about race car driving, but takes a real-life story about two rival Formula 1 racers and uses it as the template for a morality tale.
Rush is based on a true story about two Formula 1 racers named Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) who, back in the 70's, had a heated and intense rivalry. As their rivalry develops, they begin to feel a more competitive edge and the need to be number one as their egos begin to clash on and off the race track.
What I Liked About It:
First off, I absolutely loved how there is no hero or villain in this movie. The two main characters are more anti-heroes and I even liked how the two main actors aren't afraid to play the more unlikable sides of the people they are portraying. What was interesting about Lauda and Hunt was just how even though something about each of them makes you want to punch them, you still find more admirable qualities to them. Niki Lauda is a driver who, while very arrogant and having an "I'm-better-than-you" attitude, he is still intensely devoted to his job and to his wife. But James Hunt is more of a cocky playboy and while being an excellent driver is more into the luxury of it all, like the sex and partying. However, he almost tries to move away from that by settling down and getting married like Lauda. So, I loved how there are gray areas to be found within the main characters and that makes the film more humanistic.
I also really loved the performances from the cast. Chris Hemsworth really shines as James Hunt and I don't recall seeing any traces of Thor in his performance, so this is almost a complete 180 from his performance as Thor. Daniel Bruhl was phenomenal as Niki Lauda and I'm not sure if I can say words about just how good he was. However, one actress I'd love to discuss is one that has little screen time but makes the most of it. That actress is Olivia Wilde, who plays Hunt's supermodel wife Suzy Miller. Wilde has maybe about 2 to 3 scenes, but when she is on screen, in my opinion, she has a large presence. Another thing I liked was the direction from Ron Howard. I feel that when you watch this film and the look of it, you wouldn't expect it to be a Ron Howard movie. He directs it with such flare and energy, that it makes the film quite an entertaining thrill to watch and not just a unique character study.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, Rush is a genuine surprise that I just couldn't help but love. It is not only entertaining but features a humanistic story and outstanding performance from the two lead actors, Hemsworth and Bruhl. If you watch this thinking it is just about race car driving, then you will be shocked as it is a morality tale that just happens to be about two real-life race car drivers. This one I would highly recommend!