Gripping true story of ‘Rush’ delivers high-octane thrills
“Rush” – based on a rivalry between globe-trotting, opposite-minded Formula 1 drivers in the 1970s – is as dramatic and inspirational as any tale of fiction.
Chris Hemsworth is perfectly cast as British upstart James Hunt, the hotshot, entitled playboy of the era. Daniel Brühl showcases Austrian Niki Lauda’s more technical, analytical talents. They are both likeable jerks, but when things go wrong, you really care about their fates.
Whether on the race track, a college campus (“A Beautiful Mind”) or in space (“Apollo 13”), director Ron Howard is a master at pacing suspenseful true stories that culminate in triumph or redemption. Whether or not you already know how the story ends, Howard makes you feel his characters’ struggles but never manipulates with forced emotions.
Perhaps the only fault to find in the whole film is its near-total lack of substantive female characters. Alexandra Maria Lara appears in a few scenes as Lauda’s supportive wife, and Olivia Wilde – as Hunt’s wife – spends most of her screen time watching the races on television. The drivers’ home lives could have helped better explain their personalities and motivations. But all nit-picking aside, the stellar racing action is loud and intense fun, so hold on.