#TBT: Rush Movie Review

It’s Throwback Thursday again! In honor of Ron Howard’s new movie In the Heart of the Sea coming out this weekend, this week’s Throwback Thursday movie review is for the first team up between director Ron Howard and actor Chris Hemsworth, 2013’s Rush. Rush is a true story about two Formula One race car drivers directed by Ron Howard with Chris Hemsworth playing our protagonist, the arrogant yet proven womanizer James Hunt. When a new racer, Niki Lauda played by Daniel Brühl, comes into the picture and seems to be the only feasible threat toward Hunt’s greatness, one of the greatest racing rivalries in history is created.

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to see this movie in theaters. One thing that you can count on in a Ron Howard movie such as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and Rush is that it is going to look breathtaking. Ron Howard is one of my favorite actors turned director, and not that I disliked him as an actor, but I am glad he made the transition. It is not an easy transition, but filmmakers like Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, and Ron Howard make it look like it just happens. Ron Howard has always made directing visual spectacles look easy, and I would love to think that we will get the same thing in In the Heart of the Sea. Rush is well directed with beautiful shots and great creativity. Though the racing scenes are some of the coolest and best looking in the film, where this movie really finds itself and hits its stride is in the rivalry. James Hunt is a playboy who has basically had his way for his entire career. He is cocky and arrogant, but he has earned his right to be this way. Daniel Brühl’s character is threatening to knock him off the top spot. It is really interesting to see how the two characters clash. Typically in movies that are based on a true story, I try not to take into account how the real story played out. I don’t like to point out mistakes in the film that did not happen or happened differently in real life. I don’t know if the rivalry was as intense as it is in the film or if the decisions these characters made actually happened, but if they did, it would truly make for one of the greatest, yet not so well known, rivalries in the history of sports. There are multiple scenes where the movie seems so real, and these scenes really feed into the actors’ performances. I have never been blown away by Chris Hemsworth in a movie. Even in Thor, he wasn’t a character I was going to look back on and say that it was one of the best performances with the best character personalities in film. I would say those things about Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, but not about Hemsworth’s Thor. He actually gave a great performance in this movie, and impressed me far more than he had in his entire career.

Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda

Another performance maybe even out doing the excellent performance from Hemsworth came from the Golden Globe nominated Daniel Brühl. His performance as Niki Lauda perfectly contrasts Hemsworth’s Hunt as a driver who is more interested in putting the science and technology toward being the best drive he can possibly be as compared to the playboy James Hunt is, and I really think that Brühl is a very talented actor. I think Brühl gave a very strong performance four years earlier in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds as well as another one this year in the movie Burnt starring Bradley Cooper. I am also very excited to see him in one of my most anticipated movies of next year, Captain America: Civil War, as Baron Zemo. Olivia Wilde, who I think is one of the more likable actresses in Hollywood, gives possibly my favorite performances of her career in Rush. I didn’t get to see her in House M.D., but I have heard she was very good. I also liked her in Cowboys and Aliens, a movie that, while not exactly received well by critics, I find plenty of enjoyment in.

Now like I said, the best part about this movie is the rivalry. It was not your typical sports movie rivalry with characters who despise each other and a very obvious tell as to who is your protagonist and who is your antagonist. Neither of the two main characters are the antagonist. They use each other to make themselves better drivers and better racers, and though they may not be best friends, they develop a deep respect for one another both as racers and as people. They take what the other does as a challenge, and want more than anything to be the best in their on minds. They both go to crazy lengths to keep themselves challenged and improving. It is also very interesting to see how they will not take advantages over or of the other. They are both very passionate about what they do, and will put self-made success over being crowned the victor. The two characters are definitely the driving force (Haha. Get it? Driving?) of the plot and the film as a whole.

Actress Olivia Wilde in Rush

I really did enjoy Rush but that does not make it a perfect movie for me. First of all, despite thinking that the film is very good-looking, it almost feels as though there is a heavy filter on the shots, which can be used for good instead of evil, but in Rush, there are many times where that does not work for me. I feel like that adds to something that is said many times when discussing movies which is “style over substance.” There are plenty of times in this movie where it is easy to tell that the movie is reaching for a good look, but maybe forgets the substance of the plot and writing. This is not as huge an issue in Rush as it tends to be in some movies, but it is definitely worth mentioning. Those are really my only flaws with the movie. I really enjoyed Rush and think that it is a great movie with great performances from Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde as well as solid direction from Ron Howard. Rush may be my favorite track racing movie of all time, and I’m going to give it an 8.5/10.

Daniel Brühl (left) and Chris Hemsworth (right) in 2013’s Rush

Have you seen Rush? If you have, comment down below and let me known what you thought? If you haven’t, I would definitely suggest checking it out, then come back and let me know what you thought. I love to talk about movies, so if you have thoughts, please let me know and get a conversation started. Are you going to see In the Heart of the Sea this weekend? I should have my review up some time this weekend, so stay tuned and check in for that, and as always, keep listening to 88.7 the Pulse!

PHOTO: DC Filmdom

About Justin Lyons

Hey, it’s Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm