Directed by Ron “Richie Cunningham” Howard, Rush tells the (somewhat true) story of 1970s Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
WARNING, THIS TRAILER SHOWS PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE FILM
Chris Hemsworth (you know, Thor) stars as the cocky playboy Hunt, and, as far as I’m concerned is about as good an actor as my bedside lamp. That is to say, not very. But, there’s a very good likeness between him and his real life subject and I suppose in a biopic that counts for a lot. And to give him his dues, he manages to deliver some outrageously naff dialogue with a completely straight face which can’t have been easy… “the risk of death turns people on”, apparently. Ha! I did not keep a straight face.
Anyway, Hunt is a regular ‘loose cannon’ who works on instinct while his race-track nemesis, Lauda has a scientific and calculated approach, and takes everything very seriously. Daniel Brühl is good as Lauda, but I expect him to be, having seen him in The Edukators, Inglorious Basterds and Good bye, Lenin!
So, what was so bad about Rush? Almost everything, is the short answer. Coming in at two hours and three minutes long there’s simply not enough plot to carry it through. I went in knowing very little about Hunt or Lauda except that [spoiler alert] Lauda had a near-fatal accident at some point in his driving career. I thought this accident and Lauda’s subsequent rehabilitation and recovery would form the lynch-pin of the film, but instead, it’s basically about five minutes right near the end. The other 118 minutes jump between Hunt and Lauda’s private and professional lives, giving neither character nor plot thread a chance to develop beyond the superficial.
Rush totally misses the opportunity to tell, what I think must be the interesting part of the Hunt/Lauda story in favour of melodrama. You’d be better off watching Senna.