Formula One never looked so good

Featuring

Chris Hemsworth as Asshole #1/James Hunt
Daniel Bruhl as Asshole #2/Niki Lauda
Olivia Wilde as Suzy Miller
Alexandra Maria Lara as Marlene Lauda
Pierfrancesco Favino as Clay Regazzoni
with special archival footage ofJames Hunt and Niki Lauda

Formula One is the richest and most glamorous of the motor racing series in the world and also carries some of the biggest names in the automotive world. Similarly, Formula One also has some of the greatest sporting rivalries ever seen. Some examples are Ferrari against McLaren, Prost and Senna, Schumacher and everyone in the world. Rush focuses on one of the greatest rivalries in the seventies, that between Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the fateful 1976 championship year.

Now, I wasn’t born until the explosive turbo era of Formula One (because…well, turbos tend to turn engines into grenades) in the middle of the 1980s, both when racing was becoming safer in general but faster, so the rivalry between Lauda and Hunt isn’t something I’d witnessed first hand. The seventies and eighties were really the height of race craft in Formula One and the late eighties especially was the period when I fell in love with the sport. This movie is aimed at encapsulating that rivalry and season into a neat two hour package. It’s masterful in its execution and cinematography and the portrayal of Niki Lauda, the no nonsense, technically brilliant racing genius is perfect from Daniel Bruhl. The dashingly handsome James Hunt is played by the equally handsome Thor, a hammer yielding demi-god. Er, that might be slightly stretching the truth.

The thing is, the rivalry was always interesting because it epitomised the polar opposite approaches both drivers took to success. While Lauda was in the workshop with the boys working out how to make the car go faster, Hunt was bedding down with fast women, leaving his engineers and mechanics to figure out how to get the car at its best. The results were always spectacular because they were both precise and skilled drivers who never drove to the point of risking the other’s life. Ultimately, a major factor in the outcome of the 1976 Formula One season and the film by extension is the horrendous crash Niki Lauda suffered at the Nurburgring in Germany in which he suffered horrific facial burns. His recovery from the crash is nothing short of miraculous and he must go down in history as one of the bravest who ever raced.

Rush is a fantastic movie. It has beautiful cinematography, great action, great characters, fantastic dialogue that is funny and poignant and a reminder of a fantastic era in motorsport which was far more innovative, involving and raw than the current state of play. One of the other things that Rush never lets you forget is the absolute terrifying danger racing drivers of yesteryear put themselves into each time they got into the car. Fortunately, a crash that killed a driver forty years ago would now see the driver get out of the car, walk away with a little shake of the head to race another day.

Rating

Absolutely fantastic.

Should I watch this?

Yes, although you should also be a fan of loud noises coming from the back of a Cosworth DFV.

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