Movie Review: Rush (2013)

Rush is an excellent story about two men driven (wink wink) to become world champion in their chosen sport: going 170 mph in "little coffins on wheels." The movie chronicles the real-life competition between posh Brit James Hunt, played by part-time Norse god Chris Hemsworth, and brusque Austrian Niki Lauda, played by the Spanish/German Daniel Brühl. Both men do an excellent job and are ably assisted by all the accoutrements of film: cinematography, script, and sound editing. The dialog is particularly biting, with "a-hole" being a favorite adjective of many characters.

The story is intriguing because there's no actual villain, unless you count Hunts' near-suicidal urge to win. Instead, Rush depicts two men with vastly different philosophies in life, which influences their decisions on the race track. Hunt is carefree and reckless, whereas Lauda is precise and disciplined. Hunt is a talented and courageous driver, while Lauda knows how to engineer the car to improve its speed. The one thing the two men have in common is their belief that racing is the one thing they're good at. "If I could do something better than this, I would," Lauda tells his future wife. 

Hunt's references to his wild nature and the danger of racing gets a little pointed at times, but they do serve as fair warning when it happens. Those unfamiliar with the story in real life would be best served not looking into the events before seeing the movie, as director Ron Howard and his two leads do a fantastic job of laying the ground work for the pivotal moment that helps define both men's trajectories (wink wink) in the months ahead. 

Rush uses its two-hour running length wisely. It doesn't speed (wink wink) or coast (wink wink) when unfolding the narrative and it navigates the bends (wink wink) of dramatic tension smoothly. It's a solid film and I recommend watching it. 

This post brought to you by persistent pre-dawn meowing and an equally irrepressible urge to be punny. Argh.