Rush: Your reviews
2nd September 2013, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #133541
F1 Fanatic’s review of Rush is now up:
This is an open thread for anyone who has seen the film to add their review. Share your thoughts on the film below and give it a mark out of five.
The official UK release date is September 13th but there have already been some advanced screenings.16th September 2013, 0:18 at 12:18 am #240914
As soon as Lauda’s Ferrari came into shot right at the start of the film I thought “this is going to be good!”. Although I did not live through the 1970’s to experience the stories of James Hunt and Niki Lauda, and have only seen the 1976 season through season review shows on the tv, I thought they captured the look of the era almost perfectly. That, to me, was a huge part in immersing the viewer in the storyline. The attention to detail was phenomenal, whether it was the complete replication of the cars themselves, to accurate replicas of cans of coca-cola on a table in the background of the shot.
I thought Chris Hemworth did really well in his role as James Hunt, and brought out the wild, almost childish side of his character very well. He certainly looked the part. I thought that maybe he was a bit less nuanced as a character than Lauda, but nonetheless Hemworth did a great job. For me, Daniel Bruhl stole the film in his portrayal of Lauda. In every scene you can see how driven, proud, calculating and at times hugely unlikeable a character Lauda could be. However, Bruhl does a fantastic job of keeping Lauda sympathetic as a character where some lesser actors might not have been able to do so given the challenges of the role.
While the subject matter is of Formula 1, and two drivers, I think it’s a very accessible film for the non-F1Fanatic. The camerawork ensures that the racing constantly enthrals, with quick cuts, unique camera angles of the cars themselves and some great source material to work with all combine to make the racing look exciting even to someone unfamiliar to F1.
The majority of the film focuses on the characters of Hunt and Lauda themselves, and so while the racing provides context and motivation for the characters, it is the personalities of the two drivers that the film is really about. As stated earlier the lead actors do a great job of providing nuanced portrayals of these men. The script is to be praised too, as there is no hero or villain. Rather it’s a look at two entirely different personalities, pitted against each other and how an antagonistic relationship can grow between them into something more. The scene where Hunt meets Lauda in the pits at Monza after Lauda returns from his near-death crash is absolutely fantastic, and is just one example of the development this relationship undergoes through the film. Even though this film is by turns exciting, loud, hilarious and engrossing, for a film about the noisiest sport in the world it has a lot of quiet moments. It’s here that the acting shines and we see the personalities come through. At times these can be overwrought – Lauda’s midnight conversation with his wife about happiness during their honeymoon, in particular – but mostly they are key to letting us see the personalities behind the helmets.
The film doesn’t ditch the reality of the 1976 season for some big Hollywood storytelling either. Lauda still comes 4th at Monza after returning from his crash, even though the Hollywood thing to do would probably have him win triumphantly. Equally, while the temptation must have been there to have Lauda and Hunt battle to the last lap at Fuji, the film stays true to reality and the drama remains undiminished. I’m not going to go into the ending in any detail, but I found the final scene to be particularly moving and I think it gives a nice closure to the relationship (and therefore for the film the story) of these two men.
All in all I thought this film was fantastic, with so much to enjoy for the F1 fan and non fan alike. 5/5.19th September 2013, 11:35 at 11:35 am #240915
I think it was fascinating. I couldn’t stop smiling for the entire first third of it or so – because of the incredibly close and authentic capture of the classic cars, and seeing an era emerging in front of me almost literally from the books I’ve read about it and from my imagination where I tried to somehow get how it felt like.
As a race track freak, I only felt awkward seeing Cadwell Park and Brands Hatch instead of the likes of Watkins Glen, Interlagos, Fuji, Monza, etc. (Which are still more or less the same like they were in the 1970s, unlike Crystal Palace and the Ricard.) Although the old Monza main straight was created beautifully and there were shots of the old Kyalami I couldn’t decide if it was another track or real footage from the era.
Still, what got me hooked was the character-building process. I think – or I think what got to me the most about the movie – was how those drivers handled sheer fear. The fear of losing something, be it their own lives, or their dreams, or something precious they just got to hold on to. I feel the movie brought examples to all of these things.
For instance, Hunt had literally no strings attached. I mean he was a guy who lived life in the fast lane and did not bother feeling attached to things or people. When he was down, he was straightforward enough to tell her girlfriend she didn’t know him enough and couldn’t help him, even if this honesty brought about a crack in their relationship. He feared losing her of course, but accepted this as an outcome of him being straight with her. Likewise, in the misty rain of Fuji – Hunt lapped quicker than anyone else, significantly, because he accepted his life was at risk as an outcome of him doing what he loved – racing.
In stark contrast, Lauda was portrayed somewhat Hunt’s opposite (although he, Lauda, allegedly said he had ‘half of what James had, which is pretty good’): entirely without intense inter-personal experiences, or at least as someone who felt somewhat detached from people even when around them. So, perhaps subconsciously, he had a fear for what precious things he had – which became his wife. I think positive thoughts draw positive events and people and negatives draw negative ones, so in that sense the mechanical failure on his Ferrari at the Ring was not a surprise. When confronted with a same torrential wet race at Fuji, he withdrew – he gave up on what he loved doing for an attachment he had. Out of fear of losing his vision of being with her. A completely emotional move from a man we got to know as a ‘20% chance’ guy – of course, he said it was 21% on that day and that’s why he stopped. But then why he raced at the Ring, where he also said it was higher than 20% and why the pictures of his wife shown while driving lap 1 at Fuji… I particularly liked the take the film crew took when Marlene looked at Niki after the latter climbed out of the car and it was crystal-clear, crisp, unlike the – I guess – decidedly blurred setting the movie was shot in to fit the 1970s feeling. It was almost as if she saw him in real or in his entirety for the very first time.
Of course I don’t know Lauda’s real motivation behind his withdrawal…
…but as for the movie, Hunt’s and Lauda’s entirely different choices they took when it came to the most intimate relationship one could have was also very very fascinating to me. I think it gave an immense depth to their characters, one that I see very rarely – that and Bruhl’s Lauda got Rush way past the 8.0 mark on IMDb for me.19th September 2013, 11:48 at 11:48 am #240916
…Or more precisely for the penultimate sentence: the entirely different choices they took when it came to the fear of losing the most intimate relationship one could have as a result of pursuing what they loved doing, what made them themselves.19th September 2013, 19:22 at 7:22 pm #240917
when I invited my girl to see the movie she said “Are you inviting me to a date for yourself?” :D
Anyway, here is my opinion in bulletpoint format:
– Solid performances all in all. Hemsworth is the only source of some skepticism. I just think his acting is very unidimensional (is that a word? I mean to say that it does not have a lot of depth) Bruhl was amazing.
– Great script, beautiful story telling. It takes the plot, with its ups and downs, in a way that is easy to digest but also gripping and almost magnetic.
– Ron Howard is a guarantee of a good movie. Great photography, big production style yet focusing on the smallest details (very much like Apollo 13 in a sense)
– My favorite part of the movie: costume design. I found myself thinking all the time “cool hat”, “awesome tshirt”, etc. And not only for the F1 related gear, but also the “plain clothes”
– Touching end, no good or bad guy (something that “Senna” failed to do)
Those are my main take aways. Unfortunately it wont be a hit in the box office or the awards, but a beautiful rendition of a great story.20th September 2013, 7:54 at 7:54 am #240918
@jp1987 Did your girl like it?
no good or bad guy (something that “Senna” failed to do)
So true. It really annoyed me how Prost was portrayed as the ‘bad guy’ and Senna was the saint. Maybe the difference between “Rush” and “Senna” is that in Rush both drivers left F1 alive.20th September 2013, 14:22 at 2:22 pm #240919
@Matthijs My girl liked it quite a bit. Specially how it felt real and not a glorified version of sports stories. She particularly liked how it felt like a movie about people and not a movie about F1. Additionally, even though she didn’t mention it, I am sure she didn’t mind Hemsworth being in the film :D
Regarding the Senna “good or bad guy” thing. I feel that they wanted to include some sort of redemption story line at the end of the film but was told to be cut short by the studios if they wanted any kind of screening times at all. I believe that an extra 15 minutes for a documentary that is 104 minutes on its final release cut would have not been very welcomed by movie studios. I base my hunch in that tag at the end where they say that Prost is now the Chairman for the Senna foundation. Don’t get me wrong, I still ADORE the film, but with that extended redemption story would be have been 100% perfect, if I am allowed the expression.23rd September 2013, 14:03 at 2:03 pm #240920
As a racing film, ‘Rush’ is easily among the best ever made. There are a few factual inaccuracies (Hunt’s disqualification from the British GP was never mentioned), and Regazzoni was the only driver apart from Hunt and Lauda to have more than two scenes. Also, from what I’ve heard, the rivalry was never this intense, that the two were actually very good friends and even roommates in the mid ’70s. Also, the ‘FIA’ didn’t exist back then.
These facts inside, it’s a superbly made film, and it’s about F1. What could be better than that? 3.75 stars (out of 5) from me.26th September 2013, 9:27 at 9:27 am #240921
This film has Stephen Mangan, Julian Rhind-Tutt, and the delicious Natalie Dormer.
10/10 Would watch again.26th September 2013, 10:54 at 10:54 am #240922
Just echo the sentiments above really. They captured the sounds and the sights of 70s F1 cars so well, it really was an absolute joy to watch. I did feel that there were a couple of slight pacing issues – I would have liked to have seen some of the off-track scenes given a little bit more time. At points it felt like we were being shown snapshots and soundbites rather than really getting a good intimate look at these complicated characters and their various relationship.
Bruhl was so good as Lauda, I think he absolutely made the film for me. The short bit at the end was probably the most emotionally powerful part of the film, and it was to Bruhl’s absolute credit that it took me a second to realise I was actually hearing Lauda himself talking, so perfect had Bruhl managed to capture Lauda’s intonation.
Purists will point out that some of the tracks weren’t right, and some of the cars weren’t real, but I felt like this was probably a worthwhile tradeoff in the interests of using as much genuine footage of cars as possible, rather than turning the whole thing into a depressing CGI mashup.
There was a sense throughout that both men are almost opposite of each other; one’s strength was the other’s weakness, and it’s implied, and even stated at points that if they could take a little bit of each other’s character and internalise it, each would be stronger for it. But the scene near the end makes it clear that both men are unable to do this. Which is interesting, and perhaps not wholly accurate. But I don’t think this is so much a lack of character development (it’s very clear that both men came out of the experience absolutely changed), but rather an observation on their personalities.
Overall I feel it’s a fitting tribute to one of the best seasons in F1’s long history, and a great film even for those with only a passing interest in motorsports.26th September 2013, 23:42 at 11:42 pm #240923
At last the Rush movie opened in cinemas here and lets just say our drive to our nearest Odeon iSense was in keeping with the genre of this F1 flick, Rush did not disappoint, Ron Howard directs this biopic in his usual flawless style, it looks like the seventies, sounds like the seventies and I dare say a few folks might even wish it was the seventies, the authenticity transported me to the year which I was born when Hunt the hedonist was wheel to wheel with the ever logical Lauda,both thriving on the codependant and contrasting approaches of one another, one can’t help wishing success for both drivers, an impossibilty of course, but Lauda and his methodical approach so deserves it while Hunt achieves it despite his lack of approach, apart from that of any fine young lasses that cross his path not to mention lager and gaspers while sat on the side of his car. It was a different time to say the least and Ron Howard takes us down the F1 memory pitlane to a time of reckless risktaking where safety was often mentioned, in passing, as one might give a cursory glance to a complicated gadget one hopes to never need, the vivid crash scene at the Nuremburgring where Niki Lauda was critically burned slams the reality home that Formula 1 racing was and still is a dangerous sport.Having been swept up in the lavish lifestyles, champagne spurts, the laurels, the women and the laughs the Peter Morgan script provides the crash scene and Niki’s hospitalisation, the possibility of death looming large in the shadows of success, adoration and the rush of driving at 300kph, swing one’s view that perhaps Hunt had the right idea-drive hard, party harder.Rush is a truly entertaining movie, if you are an F1 fan of old you will love it, if you are a new fan you may learn something, if you are not a fan you just might be!!26th September 2013, 23:58 at 11:58 pm #240924
Not quite the top step, ★★★★ ☆27th September 2013, 9:18 at 9:18 am #240925
Man, those 2 hours in the cinema went by in a hurry! Which is amazing, considering I knew what would happen in the movie. I was keen to see by how much they deviated from what really happened – and for the most part, it was accurate. It was a bit jarring to see the beatup scene, and it was a bit odd to see Brands Hatch being introduced as 3 different circuits.
But most of all, I would’ve wanted Ron Howard to portray the two rivals as what they were in real life, though: pretty good friends. Even that didn’t stop them having their tense moments (Hunt’s interview on Lauda’s reaction to Hunt’s DSQ comes to mind), but it would’ve brought a lot more depth to the relationship. That said, all in all, I liked the level of detail (and faithfulness) they had to actual events.
Would I have wanted to see more racing scenes? Sure. But this movie isn’t just for people like me, it’s for everyone, and the fact they were able to make this story stand well with just that amount of racing scenes is quite impressive.
Sadly, I’m too busy to watch the movie again in cinemas. But I’m definitely buying a collector’s edition Blu-Ray for this one.28th September 2013, 16:32 at 4:32 pm #240926
Beautiful, lovely movie. As an F1 fan it was probably easier for me than for my friends to follow what was going on, the meaning of lower categories, of financial backing etc., but it was a really great film. It isn’t easy to make a movie about racing (you go watch a race if that’s what you want) but despite not focusing only on on-track action it was always relevant and let you know the drivers really well.
It was emotional to see Lauda in hospital and recovering for Monza, and at Fuji as well. It really did not give you one driver to cheer for, even I, who am a Ferrari fan, wasn’t angry at Hunt in the end. The ending was very fitting, not too long, not too short, very nice, and that shot of Niki at present was great to see.
Too many titties and vomiting, but this move really brought me inside the seventies’ atmosphere, and despite having seen, played and read about those cars, with this film I had an insight into their dangers and the drivers’ braveness. I knew what happened to Lauda, but seeing it so perfectly represented on screen made me admire him much more than before, and it’s had the same effect regarding Hunt. Extremely realistical and adhering to history, it shows how you can make a good film out of a good story without adding Driven-style nonsense.
I did not miss the racing because I wanted to know about the people behind the drivers. I was a little sad to see the Grands Prix resumed in such a hurry, but the movie couldn’t last four hours (though I’d watch it)! The realism, in the language, gestures and behaviour above all, was amazing and made the F1 paddock, which seems so distant, human.
I went to watch it knowig it would be great because of the reviews I’d read, but not only did that not make it any less interesting, it even didn’t accentuate the negative aspects (which I found none of). Heck, I wasn’t even annoyed at the usual stereotypical portrayal of Italians!
Beautiful, lovely movie. Would watch it again now if I could. Will definitely buy the DVD. Will (and have) definitely recommend it to everyone. 10/10!28th September 2013, 21:27 at 9:27 pm #240927
Delta Golf SierraParticipant
I saw Rush last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having read so many other reviews from F1 fans that gushed over the movie, my expectations coming in were pretty high. I’d say those expectations were definitely met, if not exceeded.
From an F1 fan perspective, I especially enjoyed the outstanding detail in the cars, and the sound. It was definitely worth the price to see it in the theater. I wanted to just watch the entirety of the races! Of course, that’s not feasible, but it’s a testament to the great effort that was put into making the movie as authentic as possible. Yes, it’s obvious that they are not racing on the actual circuits, but that is easily overlooked. Just look at the great-looking cars instead.
I also appreciated that there was no good vs. evil plot, as is typically done by Hollywood. Both Hunt’s and Lauda’s strengths and weaknesses were put on display, and one was not pushed on the viewer as the hero or the villain.
I took my wife with me to see it. She has absolutely no F1 understanding, and is one of those people who things racing is just cars going in circles. Even so, she enjoyed the story of Hunt vs. Lauda, their contrasting personalities, and different motivations in life. She even told me that the movie gave her a greater appreciation for auto racing, and she can now understand a little better why I enjoy it so much. I think that is probably the highest compliment I can give to the movie.
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