"Rush" is a bit of truth in advertising - a formula film about Formula One racing that is effectively done by director Ron Howard. The movie relies on a familiar premise with Howard's workman-like approach behind the camera and the two leads elevating the film to a higher status.
It's not quite in the same class of Howard's best work, like "A Beautiful Mind" and "Apollo 13," but it is still pretty good.
"Rush" takes place in 1976 and focuses on the rivalry that developed between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Hunt was an English playboy who partied hard and was just as reckless on the track, always willing to skirt death.
Lauda was a more methodical and cerebral driver, whose set ways turned off most of his rivals.
It appears on the surface that the two couldn't be more different. But both have more in common than it would seem, driven by the desire to be the top driver in the world.
It was a rivalry with many twists and turns, including a near-fatal accident that left Lauda scarred for life.
Hemsworth and Bruhl are both very good in bringing these drivers to life. It's a nice turn for Hemsworth, who is best known for playing Thor, while Bruhl makes an immediate impression in his first major starring role. Lauda isn't the most likable guy, but Bruhl makes him sympathetic, driving home how focused and determined Lauda was to prove himself on the track.
Howard makes it work with some of the best racing sequences in recent memory. The racing scenes are exhilarating, effectively capturing the sport's intensity. Howard clearly did his homework, creating a film that should please audiences familiar with the sport and the backstory.
But you don't have to know anything about the subject to find things to like about "Rush." The film, driven by its leads, offers a story that anyone can find something to relate to.
-- To get sportswriter/movie reviewer Micheal Compton's thoughts on all things movies, visit his blog at mcompton.wordpress.com or his Twitter page at twitter.com/mcompton428. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit: By MICHEAL COMPTON The Daily News email@example.com 783-3247
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