389. Rush

Background info

389-rushTitle: Rush
Director: Ron Howard
Year: 2013
Run time: 2hrs 3m

“Directed by Academy-Award winner Ron Howard, written by Academy-Award nominee Peter Morgan, and starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl and Olivia Wilde. Rush is the fast-paced, action-packed and exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the sport of Formula One has ever witnessed – James Hunt versus Niki Lauda and their illustrious Formula 1 racing teams, McLaren versus Ferrari.”

Live blog

2:25 – “To me, it was perfectly normal. But other people saw it differently.”
7:03 – Champagne and a smoke before the race. What better preparation could there be?
12:49 – Does that make him a pay driver? Maybe not if it’s his money/loan.
15:26 – Excellent moustache on Clay. Nigel Mansell could only dream of it.
19:17 – 2.3 seconds off the time. That puts Alonso’s six tenths to shame!
22:34 – Loving the bear-shaped Hesketh logo.
28:27 – That’s still true of Ferrari today, heaps of facilities, little to show for it.
33:39 – Brilliant that they drove past her and stopped for him.
37:40 – That title came out of nowhere.
41:22 – “I’ve made something of a miscalculation.”
46:50 – Blimey, all of Green Wing are in this! Mac’s on the phone to Guy!
50:26 – That’s an actual swimming pool at the Swimming Pool.
54:59 – “What’s important is how it feels to me.”
58:01 – Not a fan of those big green garland things.
1:08:56 – Love a pit stop that’s slow enough to have a whole conversation take place.
1:20:39 – That’s just an awful fifteen minutes of cinema.
1:23:20 – You can’t say things like that. What is up with people in the seventies?
1:29:08 – That’s not just a track invasion, that’s a pit invasion too.
1:31:33 – Heavy rain at Fuji, whodathunkit?
1:39:13 – I find Lauda and his wife to be an excellent couple. They barely speak!
1:44:57 – Typical F1 anti-climax. Championship decided by the stewards.

Conclusions

I really didn’t think I was going to like this at all, and it was better than I thought it would be. But that’s about as high as I can go with the praise, and it’s not really saying an awful lot.

It’s probably prudent to separate the F1 fan and the film fan in me apart. As a follower of F1, I thought it did a good job of putting across the story to non-fans, and was a good attempt at being interesting to people who don’t give two hoots about the sport. Having said that, the racing scenes got a little repetitive and didn’t exactly inspire. F1 is complicated and it’s hard to tell the story of a season in just a few short sequences.

Although I know about the tragic and dangerous years F1 has been through, this was two hours of very stark visuals – drivers being awful to each other before going out on track and risking their lives for no real reason. It made me like F1 a little bit less, so I have no idea what kind of effect it would have on the wider world.

As an increasingly ardent movie watcher, I didn’t think Rush stood up particularly well, although it was a good blockbuster title. It looked absolutely stunning, great visuals, and a pretty good job at conveying the power and speed of motorsport.

Somehow the script managed to be jarring and yet predictable at the same time. There was a lot of story to pack in to two hours, I’ll grant you, but the jokey “Do you want to get married?” cut to wedding day scenes made it hard to care about the relationships. Lauda’s first championship was blink and you’ll miss it. The dialogue was clunky and none of the characters particularly likeable which made it tricky to get on board with.

I did think Daniel Brühl was incredible, with or without comparison to the real Niki Lauda. The intensity, the relationship with his wife, the courage to come back, and then to step aside, that was good. I did not like Hunt, he didn’t come across well at all.

Mr C summed it up best, really. For a Ron Howard work, it was not as good as Apollo 13, but far better than the Da Vinci Code.

Rating: 3/5

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