Brian West

“Rush” Review

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The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel…
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Rush isn’t about racing. I know that all the trailers say something different, but the simple truth is that this movie just is not about racing. Now don’t get me wrong, Rush has some of the best racing sequences I’ve ever seen on the big screen, but to call this movie a “race car movie” wouldn’t do it justice. This is a movie about what drove two Formula One drivers to the edge, in what became one of the most legendary rivalries is racing history. Director Ron Howard delivers his best movie in years by giving us a fascinating character study of two very different drivers, and what drove them to risk it all to become champions.

Rush tells the true story of the insanely intense rivalry between two Formula 1 race car drivers, Austrian Niki Lauda, and his English counterpart James Hunt. The movie uses their chase of the 1976 world championship as the backdrop to show the two very different personalities of Lauda and Hunt, and what fueled the two men to become bitter rivals. Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Bruhl, was as cold as he was calculating. His merciless attention to detail and need to control everything around made him as hated as he was feared. Hunt, played by Chris Helmsworth, was a boozing, womanizing, reckless but popular driver. His off the track exploits were matched only by his relentless and fearless driving on it. Helmsworth and Bruhl are outstanding in their roles. They bring great depth to each character and do a fantastic job of making you believe in each drivers strengths and flaws. This is by far the best acting both Helmsworth and Bruhl have done in their young careers. Come Oscar time, I fully expect to see some Best Actor Nominations coming their way.

Now I know I said this movie isn’t about racing, but I should point out that the races are really amazing. The multiple camera angles used to shoot the race scenes, combined with footage shot from cameras mounted on the drivers helmets, really made me feel like I was in the race car with the drivers. You feel every turn, every lap, all at 170mph. I was on the edge of my seat for every race. The crashes were even more spectacular. I don’t think there’s a way to experience it any more realistic except by actually being in the car. Rush really shows the danger and thrills of Formula 1 racing. I have a much better understanding why the rest of the world loves it so much.
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Rush might be my favorite movie this year. By crafting a fun, entertaining look at one of Formula 1’s greatest stories, Ron Howard proves that he is still one of the best directors out there He does an excellent job of fully fleshing out Lauda and Hunt, and by the end of the movie you understand what really drove them. Howard also smartly never paints either as the hero of the story, he just shines the light on what made them rivals, and why in the end they needed each other to be great. Rush is the best racing movie, that’s not about racing, that I’ve ever seen. I will be very disappointed if Ron Howard isn’t holding multiple gold statues in his hands come award time.

I give Rush 9.5/10 reasons that Days of Thunder should’ve been directed by Ron Howard

Rush is in theaters now

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