Underrated films: ‘Rush’

Jordan Boyer, Editor-in-Chief

“Rush” was a film released in 2013. It was written by Peter Morgan and directed by Ron Howard. The film was based on the true story of Formula One drivers Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth).

The film follows both Hunt and Lauda from each of their perspectives. Hunt is presented as a handsome English playboy, while Lauda is more kept together and methodical in his life on and off the track.

The film mainly focuses on the 1976 season in the Grand Prix, but the film does follow their lives in racing up until that point.

Formula One was extremely dangerous in the 1970s, which certainly adds to the thrilling story on these drivers who risk their lives constantly on the track.

The clash between these two characters is prevalent throughout the film. They push each other to the brink with an intense rivalry. Throughout the film, the viewer realizes that while they have a strong rivalry, they certainly respect each other, and it is because of their rivalry that they reach the heights they achieve.

There is no hero or villain, both characters are intelligent, come from wealthy families, and are very talented but both are flawed in different ways. Their personalities and ways of thinking show in their styles of driving, Hunt being reckless and Lauda being more systematic.

The best aspect of the film is the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda, Hemsworth and Brühl deliver amazing performances as these real-life figures.

Viewers are torn because they have to root for both characters. The viewer wants both of them to succeed in the end, but that is obviously not possible. The chemistry between Hemsworth and Brühl is tremendous and really drives the story with a consistent thrill ride.

I like that the film does not hold your hand throughout the story. The usual American viewers do not watch Formula One, so they do not know exactly how the sport works. The film subtly presents the information you need so you can know what is going on without having to pile on information and deviate from the plot.

The direction and cinematography are absolutely incredible, the race scenes are very intense. The way these scenes were shot, and how the roars coming from the engines blast into the viewers’ ears, make the scenes incredible. There is also a constant uncertainty with the races. You never know if the characters are going to crash and burst into flames or win in a blaze of glory.

Now, while the race scenes are incredible, they do not dominate the film by any means. This is a character-driven story at its core. There is no need for non-stop action as in most other sports/action movies.

Since the film is based on a true story, you can look up the 1976 Formula One season and figure out what happens, but I do not recommend that because it will take away from the uncertainty associated with the race scenes. And, if you are aware of what happened during the 1976 season, this is still a good film to see because of the performances from the main characters, and the direction from Howard.

It does not matter who wins at the end of the season. The journey to that championship and how the characters get there compels the viewer to keep watching.

The film was received well by critics, but it has been forgotten over the years. Even at its release in 2013, there was no massive recognition for the film.

One of the possible reasons for this can be that the film’s story is centered on Formula One, a sport most Americans do not watch regularly or at all. Do not let this deter you. It is truly a compelling story on two real life rivals and how they pushed each other to the top.

“Rush” certainly needs more recognition. It deserves to be compared to other great sports films and certainly looked at as one of the greats of the 2010s.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major, he can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].