Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Whenever Ron Howard makes a film based on real life events, the results can vary. Sometimes it's great (Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon), sometimes it's mixed (A Beautiful Mind). So where does his new film Rush rank?

Yes, it is written by Peter Morgan and like the last film he wrote for Howard, it focuses on the lives of its two subjects. But the subjects this time around aren't a disgraced former US President and a British talk show host. No, this time it's about two Formula One drivers: one British (Chris Hemsworth), one Austrian (Daniel Bruhl). And like the leads of Frost/Nixon, they're very different people.

James Hunt (the Brit) is very much a reckless figure. He drinks and sleep around, but he's incredibly fast on the race track. Adopting a British accent for the role, Hemsworth displays an air of charisma throughout the film. It's also an ideal part to prove he's more than just the God of Thunder, don't you think?

Niki Lauda (the Austrian), meanwhile, is very much a determined figure when it comes to racing. (No surprise he makes a few enemies.) In a way reminiscent of Vincent Karthesier's work on Mad Men, Bruhl plays Lauda as someone you can't entirely hate (especially not after a crash that nearly kills him). It's a very distinct piece of acting.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, where Rush ranks among Howard's other "based on a true story" films. Well, the performances from Hemsworth and Bruhl were solid. If only I could say the same for most of Morgan's dialogue, which was flimsy for the most part. This is basically a film that's more "show, don't tell" than anything else though it has its moments.

My Rating: ****

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