Rush  (2013)    80/100

Rating :   80/100                                                                     123 Min        15

Director Ron Howard kicks all memories of his lame duck ‘The Dilemma’ (11) into the dust with a fuel injected character study of the real life infamous formula one rivalry between straight laced and professional Austrian Nicki Lauder (Daniel Brühl) and playboy adrenaline junky Brit James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to this, partly because I don’t watch the sport (the only race I did watch was in the late nineties when one of the cars was engulfed in flames whilst in the pits, which certainly adds weight to the statement Lauder makes in the film that each time he steps into the car he accepts a twenty percent chance he will die) and partly due to an overload of marketing and exposure to the trailer at least thirteen times – and multiple different versions at that, in fact not only does each contain major spoilers and play with the narrative in a false way, but they combine to give the feeling of having already seen the film before it’s even started. Crazy.

Nevertheless, it didn’t take long before I was drawn into the story and the excitement of being thrust into the driver’s seat through multiple close fought, and sometimes catastrophic, races. The film charts the long standing antagonism between the drivers, and successfully plays around with demonstrating the pluses and minuses to each of their individual characters, constantly challenging our sympathies for each and having us second guessing which one we’d actually like to see win. It’s a very good film – one reminiscent of ‘Senna’, a fantastic documentary set in the eighties and early nineties {here it’s the seventies} and focusing on another powerhouse of the sport, Ayrton Senna. In both films, if you are not in the know about the events and drivers concerned then you are at an advantage, as it is far better to go in with no idea what the outcome will be and the two compliment each other nicely. Here, Rush sees both leads giving great, believable, contrasting performances, with equally good support from the likes of Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara.

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