Friday, February 28, 2014

Movie Review: “Rush”

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast

   Chris Hemsworth isn’t just a long-haired muscle bound deity from Asgard, he actually shows himself, in this film, to be a very good actor. His portrayal of Formula 1 race car driver James Hunt is excellent. He sells the persona of a man living life on the edge and enjoying everything that comes with a successful racing career. In those moments where real life catches up with him, Hemsworth sells the emotion of it.

 Daniel Brühl gives an excellent performance and what I assume to be an accurate portrayal of Formula 1 race car driver Niki Lauda. I say this because the real Niki Lauda has hailed it as such. Niki is a man committed to excellence, always serious about racing and doesn’t have the best personality for making friends. 

The Plot: 
Based on real events, the 1976 season of the Formula 1 racing circuit was one to never be forgotten. It was the year that culminated the rivalry between the popular and wild Englishman James Hunt and the genius of the calculating Austrian Niki Lauda.  

Hunt and Lauda first meet in the Formula 3 circuit and become instant rivals. Eventually each finds their own path to Formula 1 and renew their rivalry, but with much more on the line to gain.and lose. Both men continuously push each other to wild and dangerous extremes in the quest to becoming world champion.

When Lauda suffers horrific burns in a crash on the most dangerous track in the race circuit, putting him off the track for a while, Hunt seizes upon the opportunity to earn points and close the gap between the two men. Lauda has amassed a health point lead driving for Ferarri while Hunt has struggled with the McLaren car. Seeing Hunt win from his hospital bed, while undergoing procedure after procedure to save his life, Lauda is motivated in a way very few people ever are.

What follows is a an astonishing display of determination, will and skill as Lauda returns to the track, not even close to fully healed to renew the infamous rivalry and secure his place as world champion. Hunt will also not be deterred and the last race, taking place under worse weather conditions than the race that caused Lauda to crash…will determine who will be the 1976 world champion.

The Verdict: 
I think films that are based on real events weigh a bit heavier on me when I watch them. The thought that I’m watching a slice of someones life is fascinating to me. This film was exciting, entertaining and interesting…all at the same time.

   Of course the race scenes will keep you glued to the screen, and being a child in the 1970’s, this film also had a nostalgic feel to me. The parts this film really shines though are the parts away from the race track. I expected to be bored as Director Ron Howard explored the lives of these two men, apart from their rivalry but I was very wrong. The depiction of these men’s lives was interesting and brought them to life for me. Once that connection was formed, the race sequences became that much more intense.

   With great acting, great directing, great cinematography, and an interesting story, this film roared from start to finish and sped across the finish line with three and a half cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup of tea.


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