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Review: Rush

Sep. 17, 2013by: JimmyO
100%

PLOT: The 1970s rivalry of James Hunt and Niki Lauda two Formula One racing competitors is explored in the exciting new film from Ron Howard.

REVIEW: Judging from the poster of the new Ron Howard movie RUSH you may suspect that it is all about Chris Hemsworth and his handsome mug. Of course looks can be deceiving as this racing drama is about not one, but two very intriguing Formula One rivals played by Hemsworth and Daniel Brhl. The two actors make for incredible sparring partners, each one fighting to be the world champion. Of the two however it is Brhl who gives the more complex and moving performance. His blonde-haired, good-looking enemy might be far more colorful and exciting, yet there is something about rooting for the underdog.

The story revolves around the 1970s Formula One champions James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brhl) who were bitter rivals. It follows their intense competitive spirit as they fight to be number one. While Hunt cavorts and enjoys the wild life, as well a rocky marriage to Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), Lauda plots every course and calculates each move he makes. It is an interesting dynamic, especially since there is no clear hero in the proceedings. Even when a terrible accident strikes leaving one of the players badly burned, that edge between the two is never lost.

There is something thrilling about a great racing flick. The revved up engines and the sheer power of the sport is one of awe and fear. Director Ron Howard manages to present the thrill of it all while still creating a worthy drama between the two men. The many shots of tires speeding along the pavement or the explosive terror when the cars smash against each other are deftly handled by the director. My only minor complaint is that he sometimes gets a little too visually creative which at times takes focus away from what is an already exhilarating subject. To an extent, Howard is at his best when he is off the track. Even still, the racing sequences are great.

As far as the performances go, you cant do much better than Hemsworth. He is a major movie star that can act. The beauty of his turn as Hunt is that he is given the opportunity to play that racing sensation in all its glory. He is clearly relishing this vibrant real life figure and it works. And then there is Brhl. Ive been a fan of this Spanish born, German speaking actor for a very long time. From his work in GOOD BYE LENIN! and THE EDUKATORS to his terrific performance in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, it is not at all surprising that he is phenomenal here. With this as well as the upcoming THE FIFTH ESTATE, this may be the year that he really becomes a major star here in the States.

The screenplay by Peter Morgan (FROST/NIXON, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) smartly examines the fierce battle with a fresh perspective. Occasionally it falls into the minor bouts of sports movie clich yet it manipulates the audience in an engaging way. The challenge of showcasing both characters evenly throughout the course of the film is commendable. It is near impossible to decide who to root for as both Hunt and Lauda are not just the antagonist and the protagonist They are each a little bit of both. While personally I could relate to Brhls more tightly wound take on Lauda, every so often youd find that Hunt seemed the better man. Credit should be given to Morgan as well as the two talented actors involved for making it work.

RUSH is one hell of a biopic. With both of the lead actors giving terrific performances, you may find it difficult to decide who to cheer for as they reach the finish line. If you dont know the history it makes it all the better, even if it is occasionally predictable. The score by Hans Zimmer is perfectly suited with Howards style. And of course, Howard maneuvers through the material taking every advantage of the sleek and sexy decade while still offering the intense thrill of the race. RUSH is exactly that, it is a super-charged RUSH of a biopic that will thrill audiences whether they are familiar with James Hunt and Niki Lauda or not.

Source: JoBlo.com

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5:02AM on 09/18/2013

The cinematography of "Rush"...

That the author of this review merely alludes to the film's cinematography indirectly no more than on a couple occasions is perhaps only surprising to me, because it is the manner in which a film is shot that happens to be the ONE, single technical aspect in all of filmmaking that I am not only most intrigued by, but that I also have the utmost interest & greatest affinity for. When it comes to seeing a movie for the first time,, besides the other more obvious components, cinematography is the
That the author of this review merely alludes to the film's cinematography indirectly no more than on a couple occasions is perhaps only surprising to me, because it is the manner in which a film is shot that happens to be the ONE, single technical aspect in all of filmmaking that I am not only most intrigued by, but that I also have the utmost interest & greatest affinity for. When it comes to seeing a movie for the first time,, besides the other more obvious components, cinematography is the one creative and artistic element that I pay the most attention to the first time through.

That being said, "Rush's" cinematography looks absolutely fantastic, and it's no surprise that this is the case, because one of my top 5 favorite cinematographers & Danny Boyle's usual go-to DP, Anthony Dod Mantle, shot this one. Dod Mantle is one of the absolute greatest as well as one of the most innovative in field working today, and is a true master of his craft. Making sure substance and technique go hand in hand as he works, with neither one getting in the way of the other, but rather making sure each is utilized in equal parts, resulting in what is, time-and-again, such beautiful and visually striking images that are so characteristic of Anthony Dod Mantle's style, which is certainly evolved by lightyears since his earliest work.

It may be early, but based on the trailer alone, I'm going to go ahead and call an Oscar nomination for Dod Mantle for his work on "Rush." I would go so far as to even bet money on it happening. ;-)
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4:29AM on 09/18/2013
Nice review. The film was amazing and there is a good balance between on the track and off. I bet another director would have made this extremely cliche, but Howard stayed mostly true to Hunt and Lauda's story and their relationship. The sound was absolutely incredible. Seek out a cinema with an upgraded sound system.
Nice review. The film was amazing and there is a good balance between on the track and off. I bet another director would have made this extremely cliche, but Howard stayed mostly true to Hunt and Lauda's story and their relationship. The sound was absolutely incredible. Seek out a cinema with an upgraded sound system.
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10:21PM on 09/17/2013
Looking forward to it. Its release also coincides with the F1 Singapore Grand Prix that's taking place this weekend, which is either a coincidence marketing-wise or rather inauspicious.
Looking forward to it. Its release also coincides with the F1 Singapore Grand Prix that's taking place this weekend, which is either a coincidence marketing-wise or rather inauspicious.
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7:36PM on 09/17/2013
Ron Howard is a very mediocre director for the most part, while I do think he has made 1 or 2 great films, the majority are okay at best. This looks like his first GOOD movie in the last decade.
Ron Howard is a very mediocre director for the most part, while I do think he has made 1 or 2 great films, the majority are okay at best. This looks like his first GOOD movie in the last decade.
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7:04PM on 09/17/2013

Was Pumped before, and am Pumped Still

As a big F1 fan, I've been waiting for something like this to hit the big screen, and when i found out it was about Niki Lauda, and that Howard was directing this i was beyond on board.

Can not wait to see this!
As a big F1 fan, I've been waiting for something like this to hit the big screen, and when i found out it was about Niki Lauda, and that Howard was directing this i was beyond on board.

Can not wait to see this!
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4:47PM on 09/17/2013
Saw Ron Howard on Top Gear talking about it. Now after this review, I'm more excited to see it.
Saw Ron Howard on Top Gear talking about it. Now after this review, I'm more excited to see it.
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4:27PM on 09/17/2013
yep, riveting stuff. hugely enjoyable.
yep, riveting stuff. hugely enjoyable.
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