Director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan have once again teamed up to give us a tense duel between a pair of characters from history too equally matched for their own good. Rush tells the tale of the 1976 Grand Prix and the battle between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Nicki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). James Hunt is a party boy enjoying the fame and female attention his driving brings, while Nicki Lauda is a hard working and determined driver doing whatever necessary to be the very best. The pair enter a battle, almost to the death, to be the last man driving.
What the film does most of all is make you care. Peter Morgan’s script is so strong that the races feel almost metaphorical in the battle between Hunt and Lauda. Brühl gives a brilliant performance; from his sour put downs to his response to the infamous accident which almost cost him his life his embodiment of Lauda is fabulous. Ron Howard is on top form, and the races are captured so beautifully on film that boy racers will be found in the most unlikely of places. Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara all give stellar performances as well, and if you’re a fan of British comedy you’ll be pleased to spot the friendly faces of Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt.
I don’t know anything about motorsport and I don’t have much of an interest in it, but I still felt compelled by this film. The focus is on the rivalry between Lauda and Hunt, so that even for people who don’t know anything about Formula One, it’s still a dramatic and tense piece of cinema.