‘Rush’ races to a stellar near photo-finish

By Diego Olivares

Set in the 1970s era of Formula 1 racing, “Rush” is a race car drama that stands out. Much of this comes from the film’s strong performances, especially from its two leads, skilled direction and a well-written script.

Based on a true story, the film covers the lives and careers of Formula 1 racers, James Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Bruhl.

The story is mostly based on the rivalry between the racers. Spanning from most of the 70s, the film’s story opens with the beginning of rivalry between the two.

Yet, it is their love of the sport that fuels them into one-upping each other. This rivalry comes to a halt when a near-fatal accident happens to one of the men.

It’s a sports-drama that puts its storyline and actors well-above it’s action sequences.

Instead, the action is portrayed as moving the story along, always and never losing focus on the people it is representing.

The film is expertly directed by Ron Howard. Much of Howard’s best work has been within the biopic genre.

Bringing the skilled craftsmanship he bought to those films, Howard is able to elevate “Rush” to his best work’s list.

Screenwriter Peter Morgan generates the interesting storyline. Like Howard, Morgan’s background is also in the biopic field.

Morgan’s interest in the people involved in the real events keeps “Rush” separate from other race films focusing on the emotion and the characters over the action.

“Rush” is able to be the total opposite. One of the factors that adds to this is that the characters are written to be completely likeable. It is a mixture of their humanity and quirks that makes them feel human.

On the acting side, every supporting player does a nice job.

However, it is the two leads that keep the film’s engine going.

Hemsworth brings a magnetic charm to his performance. He is able to make the hard-partying Hunt the most human in the story.

Bruhl plays the intelligent Lauda with a calm confidence. He plays Lauda as someone who views himself as being ahead of everyone else.

Bruhl is also able to give the character a human quality, making the audience relate with him as he progresses.

Not only does the film have strong substance, but also it carries amazing style.

The visual style is separate from other action-style films.

Rather than be a hyper-stylized action romp, the film under  Howard’s eye goes for a more grounded and natural look. It brings a more down-to-earth feel to the film.

The action sequences themselves are well done. Most common Hollywood action films try to add action scenes that have no bearing on the story whatsoever.

“Rush” allows the action to help tell the story, which also adds to it being well paced.

At a time where most car-related action films value style over substance, “Rush” is a film that carries both hand-in-hand creating a intricate balance of the two.

The result is a film that is not only entertaining, but compelling.

“Rush” is rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use.

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