Saturday, September 28, 2013


Plot: James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruehl) meet as talented young drivers in Europe, and try to beat each other into big-time Formula One racing.  Once they get to Formula One, their rivalry intensifies.  Soon both are contenting to be the Champion driver on the circuit. Hunt is a fun-loving risk-taker, and Lauda is a careful technician. Racing is full of accidents and break-downs, and these figure into a climatic turning point and then a suspenseful conclusion. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Rush is a focussed on the rivalry between two characters, Hunt and Lauda, and all the other characters are secondary. They are different archetypes, and so everyone understands the talented playboy, and the relentless geek.

Director Howard tells the story visually with pictures at least as much as words -- indeed a lot of the story is in German. Some of the photography is clever and poetic. On the other hand, the soundtrack is weak.

I liked Rush a lot because it was a good story that was well told. It was exciting and emotional. Always interesting, and occasionally fun. The weakness is the ending, which just was not satisfying. I suppose that is what happens with "true stories."

Cast: Chris Helmsworth, Daniel Bruehl

Directed by: Ron Howard

Rating: 3.25 stars: Well made and entertaining: occasionally fun. If the ending had been stronger, it could have been a contender. I feel bad giving it a quarter star rating like I am indecisive. In fact, I looked at my honor role for the year, and I think this film lacks the extra oomph for the top group. Not quite creative enough. Dialog not quite good enough. Still a strong movie. 
   plus 1/4
More: There is one Formula One race in the US every year, the US Grand Prix, and it is in Austin in 2013. The Formula One cars burn gas, but Indy cars burn ethanol. This means the Formula One cars have 700 horsepower vs 650 hp for Indy cars. Indy cars use fuel injections, but Formula One cars have carburetors. Indy cars are 90 kg heavier.

Even more: The real life Hunt and Lueda look strangely like Helmsworth and Bruehl. All the actors have a remarkable likeness. Check it out.