Movie Review: Rush [2013]

Sports are boring. Movies about sports can be even more boring especially if they are somehow related to F1. But there are exceptions, a very hard-to-make exceptional films and I say Rush is the best among them. Rush is a true story about two Formula 1 legends of 1970s - Great Britains's James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austria's Nikki Lauda (Daniel Bruh) - two greatest rivals whose fearless, uncompromising competition brought them worldwide glory and tragic accident during Japanese race.

James and Nikki are two opposite type of persons and sportsmen. Hunt is a party boy, women's favorite and a true macho. He enjoys every moment of his glory. Being successful and very handsome just fuels his bohemian lifestyle and no one ever says NO to him. As a racer James has this endless passion, thirst to risk, because the only thing he truly loves is speed and the fact that each race can be his last. But his enjoyment does not go further than racetrack. The moment he's done with tournament, he goes back to girls, night parties, alcohol and fun.
Nikki, on the contrary, is more antisocial person, he does not interact much with other people and especially of opposite sex. But he loves cars, not only racing, but cars. He understands them, he builds them and he feels them. That is why Lauda absolutely controls every car he drives on a track. Being a son to Austrian wealthy businessman, he sees profit and rationality in everything. For this reason he never takes "higher than accepted" risks, which means, for instance, no race in rainy day. Nikki spends his spear time with cars, making them even more perfect and comfortable, unlike Hunt, he'd never enjoyed loud and crowded parties.

But these two different people have things in common. Both disrespected their parents by going to F1 and both are trying to prove themselves and their families that this particular decision was correct. And they compete, because only one can prove that, because only one becomes the champion.

Ron Howard has done a brilliant directing job. First of all, because he made F1 movie very interesting even to a person who considers cars merely means of transportation (that would be me). Secondly, because he managed to film very dynamic, interesting, passionate and beautiful picture which really has something to tell. Thirdly, Rush is technically perfect movie. Cinematography is breathtaking - they just help to experience every second of each race, even if you are sitting in that car with either Nikki or James (matter of taste). Editing and sounds are perfect - each F1 scene just proves that technical branch did their best to make a very realistic racing scenes.

Also, credits shall definitely go to Oscar nominee writer Peter Morgan for creating a instantly developing story and characters who rapidly change from the beginning to the end. Sometimes sports movies are hard to understand, because they use too many specific terms. This especially bothers to non-native speakers like me. But I did not find Rush irritating in this way, because the dialogues were so real, personal and interesting that it just felt good to listen. 

And of course Hans Zimmer. Many criticized him for this work, but seriously?! This is one of the greatest scores by him and you know why? Because, it exactly fits spirit of film - the two scores My Best Enemy & 1976 emotionally ties you to race scenes and this is what good music has to do - enhance your feelings towards movie or any scene in it. So, I think Zimmer did the best job any composer could do for this kind of film. 

But the best part of Rush are surprisingly good performances. Particularly by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl who both amazingly portray respective real people. Chris, known for Thor and being a barbie boy, proves himself to be becoming a worthy and good actor. However, Daniel is a real star, because playing a very complicated person like Nikki and doing it so well requires a lot professionalism. His anxious and arrogant Lauda just steals whole film. This makes even more inappropriate Bruhl being campaigned as supporting and Rush named more Hemsworth movie, because it is equally about both characters and Daniel is stronger lead then Chris. Now I start believing that he is one of the most underrated actors nowadays. 

Real supporting cast is also good - Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara deliver pretty fine performances as wives of British and Austrian sportsmen, respectively. As a whole, Rush has a great cast, mostly low-budget, unknown actors who can actually act and they successfully ensemble with some much bigger names to deliver qualitative cast performance.

All in all, Rush is amazing. My most favorite so far and one of the greatest sports movies I've ever seen. Absolutely recommended to see.

Oscar chances? Hell yeah, for Daniel Bruhl. He has to be a nominee in supporting category, because he's simply amazing. Additionally, Rush can easily make some major technical categories - Sound Mixing and Editing, Film Editing, Cinematography. And Hans Zimmer gets nomination this year either for 12 Years a Slave or this one. I bet on Rush, because I am simply charmed. If all those my guesses are correct, it amounts 6 nomination with also can yield in Best Picture nod. I know, this type of film do not usually make it, but what if it is not an usual film? Academy can love it, because Ron Howard made their favorite A Beautiful Mind.

So, check my updated OSCAR PREDICTIONS here.


  1. I really liked this movie, Frost/Nixon is in my top 25 of all time and Rush was very similar to this one. Zimmer's work was indeed wonderful, I cannot believe he is getting all the praise for 12YaS while Rush score was so much better.

  2. You actually said my thoughts out loud.

    What do you think about its best picture chances?

  3. Well Academy loves Howard so I'm hoping it's sneaks in for Best Picture, it sure deserves the spot more than some of the favorites right now.