Ron Howard’s ‘Rush’: A BoldRide Movie Review
Car movies are hard to get right– Corvette Summer, 2 Fast, 2 Furious, Redline, all prove that just because everyone drives and some people make movies, that anyone in the film industry isn’t qualified to make a car movie. Far more difficult it is to make a good racing movie. Sure, you know the greats – Gran Prix, Le Mans and Winning – and all are undone by the legacy of Driven, arguably the worst piece of automotive cinema every conceived.
It is against this precarious history of driving movies that Ron Howard’s new film, Rush, stands out. By telling an epic human tale with the backdrop of racing, Rush is able to appeal to a broad audience, while keeping the most involved enthusiast on the edge of their seat.
Note: We screened Rush last night as guests of Lime Rock Park and Highcroft Racing. We thank them for their generosity and, like this film, continuing to foster the interest and enthusiast of car fans everywhere.
The Right Story
The plot of this film is centered on the 1976 Formula One season, and two of the sport’s greatest drivers, James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Hunt was regarded as the sport’s great playboy while Lauda was a cold, calculating Austrian. They rose through the ranks in an era when cars were becoming insanely fast, and safety advancements were struggling to keep up. Howard manages to find great contrast in the rivalries of speed versus safety, calculation versus passion, ego versus id.
The two drivers were perfect manifestations of this dichotomy, with Lauda walking the track hours before a race, and tales of Hunt sipping champagne and taking a pull from a joint right before hopping into his car. It’s the ultimate racing odd couple. It’s a tale that even Hollywood couldn’t write, it could only come from reality.
The Right Racing
Everyone has a different era of racing. For some, it’s post-war F1, for others, it’s late 60s Le Mans– but the power and rate of evolution taking place in the mid-1970s in F1 was unrivaled. Engines were getting more powerful, tires more advanced, aerodynamics more crucial– all the while, someone had to drive these death machines.
That is why the racers of this era were revered as gods. Before there was Rush, there was Senna, a documentary about Ayrton Senna, one of F1’s greatest drivers, who was killed in a crash in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. The documentary highlighted Senna’s rise to fame, his rivalry with French driver Alain Prost, and his untimely death.