I’ve never been a fan of race-car driving, but then I’ve never been a fan of most sports. I do, however, enjoy a good sports movie and “Rush” is a very good sports movie.
Directed by Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan, “Rush” is based on the true story of the 1976 Formula One racing season and the rivalry between its two leading drivers — James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) is a handsome, fun-loving Brit who races for the thrill, the women and the perks that come with winning. Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is a serious, humorless, arrogant Austrian with a face that somewhat resembles a rodent.
The two men have nothing in common except their uncanny skill behind the wheel of a sports car. Their rivalry begins after their first race together seven years earlier at a Formula Three event. Lauda buys his way into the more prestigious Formula One circuit while Hunt begs his way onto a rival team.
Soon both men are tearing up the tracks as they race to score points. Lauda starts off with a comfortable lead but it’s a long season where anything can happen — and does. To say more would spoil the movie for those of you, like me, who don’t know anything about the history of Formula One racing.
While it doesn’t steer clear of many sports-movie clichés, “Rush” does deliver a compelling, moving and at times thrilling story. Hemsworth and Brühl are very good playing two very different people who grow to respect each other even as they battle on and off the track.