Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rush, a Movie Review

Rush is unlike any movie Ron Howard has ever made. Yes, Opie, we are not in Mayberry any longer.

The movie is based on the true story of the rivalry between two Formula One drivers in the late 1970's, Niki Lauda, and James Hunt. Both strayed from their well to do families to pursue their passion - driving. And, the two could not be any different. James, is English, a playboy and extrovert with a passion for the sport and to win. Niki is German, aloof, antisocial, and although he is driven to win as much as James, he sees it as science, taking no prisoners.

While James is fueled by love of life, people, alcohol, drugs, and speed. Niki is more calibrated, disciplined - concerned with the details. James needs to mature, Niki needs to become a little more human.

The filming of the movie alone is incredible. We did not see the 3D version, and still I was exhausted by the intense race scenes, many from the view of the drivers, some from the wheels. Formula One racing makes NASCAR look like what it is, American street cars going around in an oval for hundreds of laps. Formula One cars are special machines designed for one thing - Formula One racing. You will not see one in the parking lot next to you at Walmart. And, as opposed to just making left turns on an oval track, most of the traditional Formula One racers wind their way through mountainous towns (like Monaco) or other curvy race ways.

Another thing about Formula One is the danger. In the 1970's there was a 20% chance, during any given race, a driver was going to die. James best described the sport to someone, saying it was basically like riding a bomb going over 200 miles an hour. And, many great drivers lost their lives during that time.

Chris Hemsworth plays James, a good looking blue eyed Englishman with California shaggy blond surfer hair almost to his shoulders. Daniel Bruhl plays Niki, a serious German wound tight as the curls of his short dark hair. Watching the two fight for the 1976 World Championship makes for a great story with nail biting races and Ron Howard leads us through it with a few crashes and flat tires, but never running out of fuel. It is 123 minutes well worth your time.

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