Flash Movie Review: Rush

The racetrack had to have elaborate turns, at least one bridge, hills and a long stretch of flat road. These were my requirements when I would set up my slot car racing track when I was a kid. Back then it was all about the speed; how fast could I navigate the course without the car spinning off the track. My interest in fast driving continued into adulthood; as long as I was behind the wheel I would get a thrill from driving. However, if I was in the passenger seat or a spectator I lost all interest. Because of that I have no desire to watch auto racing competitions; they leave me bored with their cars repeating the same track over and over into a monotonous blur of metal and sound. This is why it was all the more amazing to me how director Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13) got me totally interested in this action film based on a true story. The film followed the rivalry between 1970’s Formula 1 racing car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Red Dawn) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds, Good Bye Lenin!). I do not know how accurate the depiction of hard partying British playboy James and no nonsense Austrian Niki were to the real men, but for this drama it worked in propelling the story forward. With Chris and Daniel playing the central figures the rest of the cast was left in the background. Olivia Wilde (Drinking Buddies, In Time) as James’ 1st wife Suzy Miller was forgettable for the most part; but Niki’s wife Marlene Lauda, played by Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall, Youth Without Youth), had more staying power. If I had not known this was a Ron Howard film I would have never guessed he was the director; the film had a fast pace with quick editing shots that made me dizzy at times. Action and speed were the main drivers (get it?) for this story which did not allow much time for character development. The CGI effects were seamless to the point I was not even aware of them. I appreciated the different angles the director used in filming the racing scenes, from driver perspectives to overhead long shots. With the use of voice-overs, I felt the story was well rounded enough for the viewer to get a good sense of these championship drivers. I especially enjoyed the way the movie ended. Please do not tell the state police, but after the movie I made it home in record time. A few scenes had blood in them.


3 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on September 30, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Theatre of Pain

    This is the reason I have been scrolling through your older reviews Joltz. I just watched Rush on BR and I wanted to see what you had to say about Rush. (Is there a search option somewhere on your site?)

    I seem to remember Rush failing to impress the critics but as usual, my love for cars drove me to watch it anyway. I found the movie engaging from the action, characters, storytelling, pacing and musical score. In all honesty, I felt Rush was the best movie I’ve seen in 2014 and that is just after watching Iron Man 3, American Hustle and Gravity. Although all four movies exhibited some of those elements, Rush was the only one to contain all of them.

    Now my opinion may be a bit biased as I am not a superhero, don’t remember the 70’s and have never been in space but I know very well the feeling of gripping the steering wheel of a high performance sports car, the rumble of a finely tuned V8 engine and feeling the adrenaline of a tachometer shift into the red at 140 MPH on the interstate. I can identify with James Hunt in his love of both women and cars and watching the final race was breathtaking as the drive and the passion were exemplified through a near perfect blend of all the elements that made the film so great to begin with.

    It’s not very often that I want to watch a film more than once but when the end credits started rolling for Rush, there was that extremely rare voice in the back of my mind telling me to start it over and watch it again. This one will be added to my personal collection.

    • There is a search engine in the upper right. Enter “Flash Movie Review:” with your movie choice to see if I have reviewed the film. Now I have a question for you: where were you driving when you hit 140 mph and was it legal to do so? The fastest I have ever gone driving a car was 108 mph and like you I loved the feeling. It was weird for me because everything seemed to be calm all around me. Thanks for sharing your experiences and feelings that came out from watching this movie. Be well.

      • Theatre of Pain

        I see the search engine in the upper right hand corner now but I didn’t yesterday because of my NoScript settings. After you pointed out where it should be, I found the blocked script and “allowed” it.

        When I hit 140 mph, I was headed down I-26 East towards Charleston, South Carolina and it most certainly wasn’t legal with the speed limit being 65 mph at the time. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I was driving with a friend of mine in the passenger seat. The two of us were cruising along around 70 mph when a car containing four women in bikinis pulled up next to us and began flirting. I don’t remember what they were driving exactly; only that it was some sort of sporty convertible and after making sure they had our attention, the driver gave it some gas and pulled way ahead of us. It was my friend that told me not to let them get away but my foot was already flexed on the accellerator and the chase began. I weaved through traffic and hit 140 mph before I caught up to them. The speeds of both cars dropped back down to around 70 mph again, there was more flirting and I took off to see if they would give chase. They did and we started a high speed game of tag that lasted for about 15, maybe 20 miles before the game came to a screeching halt.

        With the women in the lead, I began weaving through traffic again but cut too closely to a minivan whose driver didn’t appreciate my skills behind the wheel and blew her horn at me in frustration. The minivan, as it turned out was part of a 2-vehicle caravan and the second vehicle was an RV a little further up the road from us. I approached the RV and it slowed down. I changed lanes to pass it and it changed lanes to block my passage. I switched lanes again and the RV switched lanes in response. The minivan caught up to us and the RV allowed it to move beside it, effectively blocking both lanes. Then both vehicles slowed to around 50 mph and held me behind them. I felt like I was crawling and knew that I had been beaten by the strategy they used but I wasn’t ready to give up the chase. I had the interstate median to the left of me and the emergency lane to the right so I jumped into the emergency lane and passed both vehicles easily. The victory and prize had already been lost however as the car full of women was nowhere in sight. They were long gone and the game was over. Still that feeling of adrenaline during the chase was fantastic as one of those rare moments where I got to fully enjoy the rush of being behind the wheel.

        I hadn’t originally planned on telling this story in my blog but now I feel it deserves a spot as part of my list of highest and lowest points. Thanks for the memory. 🙂

      • I know somewhat the area you were driving through since I did a road trip that covered Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. Thank you for taking ample time to share your story and yes, now you should share it with all of your readers. I am so glad my review stirred a fond memory in you. Thanks again.

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