movie film review | chris tookey


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  Rush Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
8.50 /10
Chris Hemsworth , Daniel Bruhl , Olivia Wilde
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Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Peter Morgan

Released: 2013
Origin: UK/ US
Colour: C
Length: 122

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Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Fast, involving and spectacular, Rush is one of the best films of the year. Itís a welcome return to form for American director Ron Howard and British writer Peter Morgan, the pair who previously gave us the excellent Frost/Nixon.

It contains two accurate, charismatic performances from fine young actors, Chris Hemsworth (best known for Thor) and Daniel Bruhl, the talented German who starred in Inglourious Basterds. And it is, by a very wide margin, the most exciting film ever made about motor-racing Ė unless you count Senna, which was a documentary.

It tells the story of the rivalry between James Hunt (Hemsworth, pictured left) and Niki Lauda (Bruhl, right) in the 1976 Formula 1 season. The races are compelling, but the dramatic scenes deliver too. They have a great story to tell.

Liberties have been taken with the truth. Lauda and Hunt were closer friends than they are depicted here Ė they even once shared a flat Ė and Lauda was, in his early days, almost as much of a womaniser as Hunt. It suits the film to make them more of a contrast: the reckless, hedonistic Hunt versus the disciplined, nerdy Lauda.

But that does make for drama and conflict Ė and a fair amount of humour, too.

Both men, despite their differences in temperament, had things in common. Both had turned their backs on the expectations of their privileged parents. Both were obsessed with speed and motor technology.

Though Hemsworth is the more charming leading man, Bruhlís Lauda comes across as the deeper of the two, and his is the more moving story as he confronts his fears and is prepared to sacrifice victory on a matter of principle.

Howard isnít the subtlest of directors, and thereís never room for ambiguity. He knows what he wants the audience to feel, always, but heís enough of a professional that he achieves those ends, without our feeling too manipulated.

The more circumspect Morgan still canít resist an airport scene between the two leads that is unnecessarily on-the-nose.

But Iím not going to quibble. Perhaps this film is superior craftsmanship rather than art, but watching it is still a great experience.

Not only petrolheads will love Rush. This is the quintessential sports movie: one that celebrates striving, character and achievement.

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