Movie Review: “Rush” – An Adrenaline-Charged Thrill Ride

Written by Leo Panasyuk October 03, 2013


“Men love cars!” These words couldn’t ring a truer tune when placed within the context of Ron Howard’s racing drama “Rush.” “Rush” shines light on the fierce rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda – a rivalry which helped shape the careers of both drivers and propelled them to almost-superstar status. After a less-than-impressive summer movie season, “Rush” confidently kicks things into high-gear and puts you in the driver’s seat of one of the most dangerous sports in the world – one where even the slightest miscalculation is rewarded with death.

“A Showdown is All Everyone Wants to See”

“Rush” stars Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt and Daniel Brühl – who really seems to be on the rise now – as Niki Lauda. The film chronicles their rivalry from its early stages in 1970 when the two were still racing in Formula 3 to their 1976 Formula 1 rivalry where Lauda, against his better judgment, would race on Nürburgring, the most dangerous track in the world, in the rain and suffer an horrific crash that he was, to say the least, extremely fortunate to walk away from.

Chris Hemsworth really has no problem fitting the 'playboy' role.

Chris Hemsworth really has no problem fitting the ‘playboy’ role.

“Happiness is the Enemy”

“Rush” is, well… a rush. There’s honestly no other way I can describe this masterpiece of a film. Ron Howard brilliantly depicts the lives of two very different drivers, both on and off the track. Hemsworth gives an exhilarating and enjoyable performance as Hunt, who is presented as a prideful playboy who judges his victories not by how many seconds he won by, but by how many women he can bed because of said victories. Lauda, on the other hand, doesn’t share Hunt’s reckless view on life and instead, delivers a performance which portrays him as a passionate professional. This, in many ways, made me appreciate him more as a character as he actually loves the sport and needs little-to-no incentive to get out and race. Brühl is definitely up for an Oscar nomination, especially in the scenes following his accident.

“I Accept Every Time I Get in My Car There’s a 20% Chance I Could Die”

Speaking of accidents, Howard does not shy away from portraying the dangers of this sport and instead, chooses to vividly show just what kind of risks these drivers take every time they climb in their cars. The drivers thrive on danger and danger is what drives them to win. There’s a remarkable scene in particular where Lauda attempts to petition the drivers to cancel a race in which the track is wet with rain and when someone retorts that he’s “frightened,” Lauda candidly admits that they all should be. Though you never see it explicitly, Hunt shares Lauda’s fears but the fact that he masks them is what, in his opinion, puts him above Lauda. Though it’s never made overtly obvious, there’s a deep sense of respect between the two and this, I believe more than anything, is what drives their rivalry as far as it goes.

The crashes are hard, fast and unflinchingly brutal.

The crashes are hard, fast and unflinchingly brutal.

The cinematography, music and screenplay are all to be applauded; they are all top-notch and the race scenes themselves are purely breathtaking and to hear the powerful engines of the cars as they round corners and fly through the track at breakneck speeds is enough to increase your heart rate. Hans Zimmer provides a masterfully human yet pulsing score that gives the races an added level of intensity. And though the film is mostly a drama, it manages to deliver sharp comedic wit from its two stars that’s both believable to the audience and appropriate to the characters.


Ron Howard’s “Rush” is not simply a racing movie – in fact, it’s much more than that. It’s a story of two very different yet very similar men vying for the only spot that matters – number one. Through excellent writing the audience is able to see into the personal lives of these drivers and through wonderful directing their lives come truly alive and almost crash through the screen. Whether you’re a fan of racing or not, “Rush” is a definite must-see film that proves that everyone, no matter from what walk of life, is driven by something.

My Rating: 9/10


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About Leo Panasyuk

A fan of all things film, Leo never really lets himself get tied down to one specific genre. He's always interested in watching new and old films and especially loves the IMAX format. When he's not choosing which movie to watch next, he's studying Film and English at Western University.

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