Academy Award-winning Ron Howard has come a long way since appearing as everyone’s favourite 1950s teenager, now quite deservedly being one of America’s best loved directors.
His films are smooth, simple and effective – constantly keeping us on edge and engaging us in well drawn characters. Here he has again taken Peter Mrogan’s screenplay (they collaborated on Frost/Nixon) and re-created the brutal true story of the 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, their judgment clouded by their egos.
The film is set between 1970 and 1976 against the glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing, very heady days, and follows the distinctly different personal styles on and off the track of the two drivers, who were as famous as pop/rock stars.
Daniel Brühl as the Austrian Lauda, as methodical and brilliant opponent as you’d care to find. A headstrong and lonely individual he is even called a rat by some. He is perfectionist, clinical, cold and unpopular, but a complete genius. Chris Hemsworth (as Hunt) on the other hand is the effortless British champion, a handsome English playboy who was the darling and cheeky boy of the circuit – often drinking , smoking and having sex right up to the race time!
However, what begins as a rivalry slowly evolves into what feels like a friendship that is filled with mutual respect for one another.
The cinematography is terrific – the camera always seems to be just in the right place at the right time to make you feel like you're sitting in the car along with these drivers feeling the roar of the engine.
As Lauda says, every time they step into a car, there is a 20% chance they may die! ‘Rush’ is absolutely exhilarating, amusing, and passionate to the very end.