Ron Howard's Rush is the ultimate 2013 thrill ride. Full of spirit, determination and a real life rivalry Rush packs in the intensity and grips you so tight you will be on the edge of your seat by the time it is finished, and that is a guarantee.
James Hunt and Niki Lauda carried their rivalry into the 1976 season where Hunt wanted to prove he could beat Lauda. Hunt was the natural speedster of the two, often putting himself at risk to pull off a daring move. Lauda was the calculated one of the two using precision and aerodynamics to help him become world champion. That all came to a head during one race in 1976 when the conditions were poor and the race went ahead anyway. It took the word rivalry to a new meaning and created a showdown that was for the ages.
Rush was an absolute thrill ride. From the early stages of Formula 3 racing, a young hot headed James Hunt knew he had the potential to be a star. His characterization was perfect, a young speed demon with a pretty boy face and a party animal lifestyle that he had no intentions of stopping. Hemsworth was a good choice, combining his natural physique and his acting chops to a role that required both a sense of humour and a sense of determination. Daniel Bruhl was the stand-out as Niki Lauda, his look nearly identical to the pictures they showed of the real Lauda. His will, his courage and his ability to be tactical were all part of a brilliant second half that Bruhl dominated as far as acting goes. The second half was meant to be his show and he took centre stage and ran with it.
The action scenes were downright incredible, from the revving of the engines to the sounds of race-day, Ron Howard recreated their heated rivalry with incredible precision. As the cars flew around the track and Lauda and Hunt both traded wins you could feel the tension building to the thrilling climax and when thr Nurburgring scene approached there was a knot in your stomach. Despite the fact the scene set itself up with the ominous autograph and the drivers meeting the sense of dread left you hoping you for a better outcome. After that came Lauda's struggle with trying to get back into racing form, which was even harder to watch as the doctors peeled back the bandages and were forced to clean his lungs. That scene a lone made me look away from the screen and shiver. Niki Lauda was a daring man to get back in the car after only 42 days in the hospital. If Bruhl doesn't receive an Oscar nomination at least for nearly perfect transformation into Lauda there is something wrong with the Oscar decision process. His performance was inspiring due to the fact he recreated something that actually happened and he did so in a way that was entirely believable.
Rush could have a real shot at winning best picture. It has all the right pieces. A real life story, thrilling cinematography and performances that help shape the outcome of the film by adding a sense of realism and courage. Definitely a must see film, Ron Howard has created a visually stunning film that proves the heart of Hollywood is still alive and that honest and true film making is still a treat to behold.