Rush chronicles the 1970’s rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, from their beginnings at Formula Three events, to the tragic crash that nearly ended Lauda’s life.
Chris Hemsworth excels as British driver Hunt, which admittedly comes as a surprise considering his somewhat limited roles previous to this; his performance here will go a long way in breaking the potential typecast brought on him by Thor. The real star here though is undoubtedly Daniel Bruhl, a relative newcomer to Hollywood. His depiction of Lauda is fantastic – and his resemblance is uncanny. Prior to Rush, his name wasn’t well known: expect that to change in the very near future.
What makes Rush so enthralling is that a knowledge of F1 isn’t necessary to enjoy the action: sure, there are races, and the occasional jargon that relates to the sport, but primarily the focus is the rivalry between the two men. Director Ron Howard has obviously researched the subject thoroughly, and the infamous crash scene is recreated with impeccable detail. In fact, every part of the film has been carefully considered, with tracks exhibiting the original advertising that they would have shown at the time.
Far from being a ‘film for dads’, Rush is hugely enjoyable to both genders. The squeamish may find Lauda’s crash and subsequent recovery process a little too much to stomach, but it’s a vital part of the two drivers history, and needed to be as graphic as it is. With breakthrough performances from all involved and a sublime director behind the wheel, Rush is in with a good chance at pole position in the race for the Oscars.