Since Rush was first announced what seems like a century ago, millions of Motorsport fans across the world have been counting down the days until its release – and that date has finally arrived.
I myself was one of the people eagerly awaiting the film’s release. By following the film’s director Ron Howard on Twitter, I got a day-by-day look at the behind the scenes work on the movie – everything from the selection of the lead actors to the running of authentic replicas of the 70’s Formula One cars.
Everything was shaping up to be perfect, but one thing wasn’t shown over Twitter, and that was how the story would be told. I was worried that a Hollywood director would turn a historically accurate, already perfect story into your stereotypical Hollywood movie.
As it turns out the final product was flawless. Obviously you have poetic license when making a movie, but Ron Hoard sticks almost entirely to the story. Excluding the fight between the film’s two protagonists in F3, which never happened, the major events in the film are depicted as if Howard simply found the file-footage and recycled it under his name.
The film itself is a unique film, as there is no clear antagonist. Whilst both Niki Lauda and James Hunt narrate the film at various stages, the film is not told from either driver’s viewpoint. This leaves the viewer unsure of which of the two protagonists to cheer for, eventually trying to cheer for both drivers as they vie for the 1976 World Championship.
As for the men who portray the two drivers, they could not have been better chosen. From Daniel Bruhl’s spectacular representation of Niki Lauda to Chris Hemsworth’s cheeky-smiling James Hunt impersonation, the real Lauda and Hunt couldn’t have represented themselves any better.
And of course, almost more important than the men the film is based around, is the on-track action. It is incredibly difficult to bring to life the excitement of real racing. Howard, however, recreated it beautifully and accurately builds the tremendous tension of a Formula One race. From the early F3 shots to the wheel-to-wheel scraps of the ’76 Championship, one is left on the edge of their seat as the drivers battle the conditions and each other from one race to the next.
While I would strongly recommend that everyone and anyone go see it, the film has been limited to 15+ in Ireland as there are some hard scenes to watch, such as the gruesome depiction of Francois Cevert’s fatal accident and Niki Lauda’s near-fatal crash and subsequent treatment.
Don’t let those scenes sway you though – there are plenty of light scenes to make up for it – such as James Hunt’s sexual exploits or a particularly funny scene where Ferrari driver Lauda is spotted by two F1 enthusiasts in Italy.
All-in-all Rush lives up to the extremely high benchmark set by the actual events on which it is based. From the drama both on and off the track, Howard has created the perfect racing movie – one which can be enjoyed by everyone. From the loud noises of a V8 engine to the do-or-die attitude of both men as they fight for the title, you cant look away.