Rush (2013)


Ron Howard's better films are character studies of interesting men (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, Apollo 13). His latest film, Rush, is about two interesting men -- Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) -- and their pursuit of the world championship in 1976. Working with a smartly crafted script by Peter Morgan (The Queen), Howard neatly dissects the drivers' heated rivalry, which leaves one of them disfigured after a fiery wreck during the Grand Prix event in Germany. That event is the focus of Howard's real interest: what drives these men? Hunt, a rowdy and rakish Brit, appears to be all about conquest (cars and woman), and Lauda, an austere Austrian, is all about discipline. Both Hemsworth and Bruhl (a Spaniard who I first noticed in a small part in The Bourne Ultimatum and later in Inglourious Basterds) are fine in their roles though their performances are overshadowed by the sensational scenes of the motor races. Marvelous camerawork and editing throughout. Recommended.

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