Director Ron Howard, whose previous work includes “Apollo 13” and “Frost/Nixon,” returns with “Rush.” The film is a chronicle of a real life rivalry that developed between Formula 1 racers James Hunt, played by Chris Hemsworth and Niki Lauda played by Daniel Bruhl.
The film shows how both drivers got started in the lower ranks of the motorsport and through time worked to become two of the biggest names in the industry. During the 1970s, both men’s private lives are delved into, revealing what else was really driving them. The movie culminates with the 1976 world championship for Formula 1 in which they both compete for the title.
“Rush” has a major issue. Many of the scenes in the movie actually feel rushed.
Multiple subplots and sections of time seem to get over way too quickly, leading to same characters feeling under-developed. The rivalry between the two racers is highlighted well, however, everything else falls by the wayside.
The 2011 film “Warrior,” was an example of how to make a film about competition featuring two major characters who each had very deep character arcs that were engaging. When it comes to “Rush,” the same can’t be necessarily said. There were points when the movie almost felt like it wanted to get past the more developmental scenes to just speed up for the races.
The acting, though, is at a high level for both lead characters. Hemsworth brings a lot of charisma to a role that needs its fair share. Bruhl, likewise, delivers a performance that makes his character the perfect contrast to Hemsworth’s Hunt. The initiative for both of them to race and not give up, mainly fueled by their rivalry, is on full display thanks to the acting.
Unfortunately, the same praise can’t be given to the supporting cast, who come off as weak. This probably can be attributed to the aforementioned plot. Lines aren’t delivered badly, and the cast was capable, yet many of them feel underdeveloped.
Ron Howard knew exactly what he was doing when it came to the racing, though, as the spectacle during the Formula 1 scenes was fantastic. The race scenes are well shot and include multiple angles to put the audience in the driver’s seat. The racing was very engaging.
The movie doesn’t hold up as well compared to some of Howard’s other great films, but it still works. The supporting characters were not fully fleshed out thanks to a plot that was a bit messy, however, the lead actors showcasing the great rivalry did carry things. Add in the exciting racing scenes and the movie becomes worth a watch. 3 out of 5.