2013, Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment
Anthony Dod Mantle
Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt),
Daniel Brühl (Niki Lauda)
Olivia Wilde (Suzy Miller-Hunt)
Alexandra Maria Lara (Marlene Lauda)
Pierfrancesco Favino (Clay Regazzoni)
David Calder (Louis Stanley)
Stephen Mangan (Alastair Caldwell)
Christian McKay (Lord Hesketh)
Augusto Dall’ara (Enzo Ferrari)
The true story of the years-long rivalry between Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda is driven by great performances by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as well as excellent direction from Ron Howard.
The rivalry began in 1970 when Hunt, a brash cocky star in the Formula Three circuit, meets Lauda for the first time. The two soon become rivals both on and off the field due to their difference in personalities. Hunt lives the lifestyle of someone who thrives on fame. Lauda is cool, calculating, and is a perfectionist. When both men enter the big time in Formula One, their rivalry takes on a whole new level. A level where they will risk even their own lives to become World Champion.
There have been many sports biopics that have been critically acclaimed and have had legions of fame. This film, revolving around the world of Formula One racing, is well done under the direction of Ron Howard. Peter Morgan’s script does a great job of juxtaposing the professional and personal lives of the rivals who transition from hot-headed rivals to two racers who eventually show respect for each other despite their much publicized rivalry.
What drives the film is the performances by lead actors Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Hunt and Lauda. Hemsworth, who is of course known for playing some God of Thunder, really pulls it off as the partying and cocky Hunt. He does eventually meet his match personally when he meets Olivia Wilde’s Suzy Miller, whom he later marries only to learn she has an affair with a certain Mr. Burton. Despite his partying ways and foremanner, which at times, tends to get him in trouble with his racing team, he does get serious once is on that track.
Brühl, who did well playing a somewhat sympathetic Nazi soldier in Quentin Tarentino’s Inglorious Basterds, brings out a performance that outranks that of the Tarentino film. As Austrian racer Niki Lauda, Brühl simply follows the rules and is seen as cool and calculating. However, he is a perfectionist and like his rival, goes to any lengths to make sure he becomes champion. Even going as far as doing the impossible after an accident nearly kills him let alone his chances of winning.
The racing scenes are along wonderful to see but the focus here is transition as it is clear that James Hunt, who sadly passed away in 1993 at the age of 45, and Lauda, who is still alive and kicking today, have gone from being hot-headed rivals to guys who may have had a rivalry in public when it came to racing, but off the track, showed a level of respect that will never be forgotten. At least, not through the eyes of Lauda, who narrates the film.
If you like biopics and sports, then you will have to see Rush. While Chris Hemsworth may be known for playing Thor, this film brings one of his best performances to date while Daniel Brühl gives it his all as well in a performance that should have been deemed Oscar-worthy. Definitely give it a look and see why this film is that good.
WFG RATING: A