Critics' Corner: Rush

If you're familiar with the 70's era Formula One rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt then "Rush" may not hold too many surprises for you. My guess is, if you are familiar with the story, you are in the minority. So, Ron Howard's biographical film may have been a really great choice for a story to tell. Those in Europe may be acutely familiar with it but even they may not have heard the intricate details behind the scenes that made up one of the most bitter racing rivalries in history.

The casting of the title characters was spot on and I only know this based on the real footage of the two personalities at the end of the film and the story that was told. James Hunt was a blonde-haired playboy with a lust for testing life, partying and women. So, "Thor"'s Chris Hemsworth was a perfect fit for the part. Niki Lauda was a small perfectionist with an overbite and was played by German actor Daniel Bruhl. Combine two well cast actors with a juicy story, rivalry, fast moving cars and one of the best storytelling directors in Hollywood and "Rush" has all the right ingredients.

First and foremost, "Rush" is not "Days of Thunder" or "Fast and Furious". I was more taken by the storyline and acting than I was the racing sequences. I found the racing sequences to be a little disappointing for the most part. They were few and far between and much of what made Niki Lauda and James Hunt despise each other so much was because of what happened between them on the race track. This was all portrayed, but much of what made "Rush" a good movie was as I stated before; Ron Howard, being a great storyteller.

Not having the slightest idea of what happened between Hunt and Lauda, I found myself completely involved in their conflicted and conflicting personalities. The 1976 Formula One season was a life changer for both men and that is what the movie focuses on; one year, one season of their lives. I would only recommend that you go to see "Rush" for the story and the drama because if you're going to be dazzled by dynamic racing sequences, you'll be disappointed. To me, this was the weakest part of the film, but fortunately there was an amazing story to tell about the human spirit, the value of life and the risks that race car drivers take when they get behind the wheel for the sake of sport and fame.