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RUSH 2013 – The Carhoots Film Review

Ron Howard’s RUSH, starring Chris Hemsworth, is perhaps the most highly anticipated film of 2013 for car lovers. We reckon it’s one of the best motorsport movies ever.

If we’re honest, Carhoots.com is not really a movie review site. We much prefer to blabber on about interesting motor vehicles than pan angles, CGI nonsense and actors whose children have weird names. But Ron Howard’s RUSH is such a special film that we just had to tell you all about it. So, here goes…. *Spoiler alert*

RUSH is a movie about Formula One racing in the 1970s, a time when “sex was safe and driving was dangerous”. It’s based around the true story of the rivalry between racers, James Hunt of British stock, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Austrian Niki Lauda, played by Daniel Bruhl. 

Hunt was a playboy, a crowd pleaser and a pretty awesome bloke actually. He wore a race suit that had “sex, the breakfast of champions” printed on it for Pete’s sake! Hunt is a very complex character who drove for McLaren because he loved motorsport and the feeling of aliveness that it gave him.

Niki Lauda was a very serious chap. He did everything by the book. Lauda went to bed early while Hunt partied, he never drunk alcohol, he knew how to drive and he knew how to set the car up and make it faster. He was the total package. But he also wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Lauda famously called Ferrari’s racecars “shit” before signing with the Italian team and winning two world championships at the helm of the prancing horse machine.

A lot of people seem to think that Chris Hemsworth is the star actor of the movie, but for me that wasn’t the case. Hemsworth plays the role of James Hunt quite well – his British accent was convincing enough, and he delivers Hunt’s charismatic persona nicely. But Daniel Bruhl’s portrayal of Niki Lauda was staggeringly good. Bruhl even looks quite similar to ’70s Lauda which made it a bit spooky. After the Austrian’s accident at the Nurburgring, Bruhl is undoubtedly the star of the film. The sheer determination and emotion that he projects in the recovery scenes is gob-smackingly good.

The CGI work with the numerous crashes that are shown in the film is really top notch. The movie represents that era of F1 with real authenticity. In the movie Lauda’s massive crash at the Nurburgring was shown perfectly, probably to the millimetre. The way the car spun several times before bursting into flames and coming to a rest at the outer edge of the race track appeared identical to the actual crash that happened during the 1976 F1 season. The panic and fear that Lauda must’ve experienced as he sat in the burning wreck for more than a minute was also shown brilliantly.

The sounds of the 70’s era V8 and flat 12 powered F1 cars, too, are truly stunning at the cinema. And the cars themselves look like the real deal.

Providing you haven’t got an anorak there’s a theme of authenticity throughout the film. Granted, most of the recreated race scenes were filmed at the one track in Britain, except for the Nurburgring accident which was filmed at the actual location of the incident. But the use of actual, uncensored quotes from the drivers during their careers, the language, the way Hunt would often vomit before races, his constant smoking and drinking, plus actual race footage, give the film an unapologetic honesty that makes it incredible to watch.

A lot of people that I’ve spoken to who haven’t seen the movie seem to be under the impression that RUSH is a film just for people that like cars and F1. And that’s just not the case at all. Sure, it’s a movie about Formula One racing in the ’70s, but you don’t need to enjoy or even understand the sport to feel the impact of the film. And in fact, the movie was more about the two characters’ relationship with one another rather than the actual racing.

The relationship between Hunt and Lauda was slightly, shall we say, adjusted, for the film. In the movie it doesn’t quite stretch to the extent of hatred for one another (they never hated each other), but it gets close, mainly at the beginning of the story. Though there’s always a strong feeling of mutual respect between the two that grows as the movie progresses and the story never strays far from the truth. 

If you like cars you’ll love RUSH, and if you don’t, chances are you’ll love it too. The script is genius. The story is incredible.

Oh, and Chris Hemsworth’s body is in pretty decent form too, ladies. 

Now, watch the trailer if you haven’t already… And if you have already, watch it again, because, well, it’s awesome. 

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