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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 November 2013
The rivalry between James Hunt and Nikki Lauda though of comparatively short duration, was nevertheless one of the greatest rivalries in sporting history. The stakes were huge: life, death, the world championship.

Even though I did not follow Formula 1 racing then or ever, I clearly remember when this rivalry went global with badly burned reigning Formula One world champion Nikki Lauda being pulled out of a burning car at a grand prix, by other drivers. Almost dead from his injuries, it looked like his season if not his career was over.

I also clearly remember watching the charismatic James Hunt being interviewed about the subject. Considerably behind Lauda on points in the world championship, his act of getting out of the car to help rescue Lauda could have potentially ruined his own ambitions to become world champion. Truly, this is one of the most remarkable sporting rivalries of all time.

So, it was with more than a little anticipation that I looked forward to watching Ron Howard's take on these events done with the cooperation of Nikki Lauda. James Hunt sadly died of a heart attack in 1993 at age 45.

If you are like me, you do not have to be a big racing fan to enjoy this. Everyone understands we live in a world of rivalry and competition, and Ron Howard does an admirable job in this movie in crafting one of the most memorable movies of the year.

While I was one of the few people not very impressed with the movie Thor, there is no doubt in watching this movie that Chris Hemsworth does an awesome job as James Hunt, easily matching the charisma of the great character, who was both a charmer and a legendary womanizer, and that Hemsworth is a great star. I consider this to be his best role to date.

The title Rush is quite appropriate as you may experience a certain rush of adrenaline in watching the movie.

I think the movie in a way balances perfectly, because if you are like me, as you watch, clearly as a social guy Hunt steals the show, and as a technical and methodical racer, Lauda is superior. In a way they come across as total opposites, yet at the end one does admire both, Lauda for his heroic comeback showing what a true competitor he is, and Hunt for his charisma and skill.

Rush is jam packed with interesting events. You do not need I think to know much about movie going in, just allow it to rush over you.

I think most people will enjoy it, and I hope this was helpful.
1010 comments86 of 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Nikki Lauder-James Hunt feud during the 1976 Grand Prix Formula One season is one of the greatest stories in motor racing history with everything you could wish for to make a perfect movie - two strong, remarkable larger than life characters, a horrendous near fatal crash and an against all odds recovery and comeback only six weeks later, driven by a rivalry that comes down to the very last point in the very last minutes of the very last race of the season - and Rush doesn't disappoint. It's the perfect mixture of the perfect script perfectly cast, with look-alikes Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl embodying the real people they play with a keen eye for their verbal and physical idiosyncrasies in remarkably convincing performances - Bruhl in particular has Lauda's uniquely staccato machine-like vocal delivery down pat - but manage to avoid mere surface mimicry to flesh them out as real people. It's to the film's credit that when the final monologue mixes footage of the actors with their real-life counterparts there's no jarring sense of being taken out of the movie.

Peter Morgan's screenplay is exceptional, conveying character and information with impressive economy, explaining both what fuelled their rivalry and how it drove them to excel, only really spelling things out in the final scene between the two drivers and even then making what could have been a maudlin sentimental wrap-up seem believable. It doesn't paper over their flaws either. Hunt's reaction to his friend's racing team going under is anger that he's lost his ride rather than concern the man might lose his home, yet despite his acknowledged self-centredness he remains the kind of person who could crap in your hat and you'd still buy him a drink, while Lauda's ruthless business sense and emotional remoteness is very much to the fore yet never allowed to alienate you. Both men are defined as much by what they lack as where they excel: while Lauda's understanding of cars is so great that he tells his mechanics what to do to improve the car, Hunt is left outside in the rain at the mercy of their imagination, but Lauda lacks Hunt's ability to seize the moment on and off the track because his analytical mind is always racing ahead and weighing the potential risks and rewards - so much so that when two fans give him a lift, he drives like an old man because there's no reward to outweigh the risk until the possibility of impressing an attractive woman presents itself.

There are a few surprising omissions that seem like naturals for a movie, like Hunt's infamous attack of nerves before every race that would see him unable to stop himself from kicking the inside of the car or the previously all-too-cool Lauda's own sudden attack of nerves in his first race after his crash that saw him unable to start for 30 seconds, but overall this is a film that constantly delivers more than you expect with old-fashioned craftsmanship at its best. Despite a surprisingly modest budget, the film does a particularly good job of recreating the look and feel of the sport in the 70s without letting the period detail overpower the story, catching the movie star glamour on the fringes of the racing scene at the time. Indeed, Lauda meets his future wife walking out on a party held by an (offscreen) Curd Jurgens while Hunt loses his wife to an equally offscreen Richard Burton. The mixing of stock footage, some reconstruction and CGi is handled imaginatively enough to look like a stylistic choice rather than a budgetary one and Ron Howard even gets creditable and refreshingly natural performances out of supporting players who have been blocks of wood in the past. A remarkably satisfying film that still manages to thrill even if you know how it ends, it's the best film of the year for me so far by miles.

StudioCanal's UK Blu-ray offers a fine 2.40:1 widescreen transfer and a decent selection of extras - 10 deleted scenes and featurettes Race for the Chequered Flag - The Making of Rush and The Real Story of Rush - though the limited edition version available from Sainsbury's included a separate DVD with interviews with Ron Howard, Niki Lauda, Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara, and numerous brief internet featurettes (World Premiere, Ron's Tweet, Filming in the Rain, Driving an F1 Car, A Look Inside, The Sexy 70s and Nürburgring) and the theatrical trailer. But this is one package where the film itself is definitely the main attraction.
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Certainly an appropriate heading......from start to finish it is indeed an
adrenaline rush.
The film tells the 'true' story of the on and off track rivalry between track
legends 'James Hunt' and 'Niki Lauda'
Playboy 'James Hunt' lives his life in the fast-lane, his on-track driving
reflecting his personality.
'Niki Lauda' is knowledgeable about the workings of his rides on the track,
his actions on the race track both deliberate and methodical.
The film follows both drivers lives on and off the track, the rivalry between
the two almost certainly led to 'Niki Lauda's' near-fatal crash in the German
Grand-Prix 1976
His courage returning to the track the same season was driven by the
determination to try and stop his rival claiming the championship.
I think possibly if but eventually they had a mutual respect for each other.
The film is without question both exciting and intense, it will keep you on
the edge of your seat throughout.
Great casting....'Chris Hemsworth' as 'James Hunt' and 'Daniel Bru'hl' as
'Niki Lauda'
It's a brilliant movie that warrants it's acclaim, quite simply 'A MUST SEE'
Great visual content and superb sound quality on board (Blu-Ray)
Special features :
*Deleted scenes.
*The real story of Rush.
*Race for the chequered flag.
*The making of Rush.
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A great story (albeit with a little bit of reality sliced off), two very different protagonists, in an epic Formula One racing season all put together extremely well by Ron Howard. Sports films can be formulaic, but this one simply needs to reflect the actual events to keep us busy watching. It also takes the opportunity to take us back to the mid-Seventies when the world (and the sport) were very different. I think even a non-Formula One fan will find this one hell of a story.
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1976. Two racing drivers are competing for the Formula One World Championship. Racing for Ferrari is Niki Lauda, a studious, restrained, methodical and logical driver. Racing for McLaren is James Hunt, a flamboyant British playboy who prefers partying to doing homework about downforce and aerodynamics. Their radically different styles of driving are put to the test in a season-long showdown that will leave one of them physically scarred for life.

Rush is the movie dramatisation of the events of the 1976 Formula One championship season. This season is infamous for its nailbiting, year-long battle between Hunt and Lauda. The showdown is often cited as being the transformative moment for F1's popular appeal, turning it from a niche sport into a global phenomenon as a result of the sale of TV rights for the whole season, allowing motor sports fans across the world to see every race rather than odd highlights.

It's also noted for another shocking event: at one of the races Lauda's Ferrari spun out and burst into flames. It took a minute for Lauda to be pulled from the car, during which he suffered burns to his entire body. He was rushed to hospital and was not expected to survive, even being given the Last Rites by a priest. Unbelievably, Lauda survived and recovered. Even more unbelievably, he was back in the racing seat just six weeks after the accident, determined to take the championship to the last race, which he did.

If director Ron Howard had made up this story, people would be howling to the rafters about its contrived nature. However, the fact that it is true adds an air of authenticity to the drama which really helps sell the tension.

As well as its story and tension, Rush also does very well with its actors. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl play Hunt and Lauda to perfection, with Bruhl in particular going to some lengths to nail Lauda's very precise and distinctive way of speaking, familiar to hundreds of millions of people around the world from almost forty years of working in F1 (as a driver and more recently as a team executive for Mercedes). Other actors tend to fade a little in less-prominent appearances, but Alexandra Maria Lara brings dignity to the role of Lauda's wife, Marlene, and Natalie Dormer has a small but memorable role as a nurse treating Hunt for a crash injury early on in the movie.

Where the film falters is its treatment of the races. Millions of people watch F1 every year all around the world and faking the races with CGI was never going to work (you can tell straight away). Indeed, the few scenes where CGI is clearly used are distracting. At the same time, Howard was never going to get a budget large enough to accurately rebuild 20+ 1976 F1 racing cars and race them at the real circuits, where they have survived (in fact, the $38 million budget is rather small for such a film). The result is a compromise: several real cars are built and raced around, enhanced with CG where necessary, with the distracting use of full-CGI scenes and backgrounds kept to a minimum. This all works reasonably well, but it means that the actual racing is kept to a minimum, with the focus on the drama.

This is where the film comes unstuck. Howard establishes early on that Hunt is the playboy who lives on the seat of his pants and loves partying and women, whilst Lauda is the serious technician who knows the engineering of F1 cars better than several of his dedicated engineers. And that's really it, neither of them change or evolve through the film. Hunts gets married because he thinks it's good for his image and this doesn't work out, which we could guess. Lauda is arrogant and opinionated and is sometimes proven wrong, teaching him occasional moments of humility which never seem to last. A frequent problem of adapting real events into stories is that real life is too disorganised and people too varied to fit into the boxes required by drama, and in this case there isn't enough meat to the story arcs to justify the amount of time that is spent on the non-racing segments.

As a result, Rush (***) feels a little bit lightweight. The racing scenes, where they actually exist, are good. The battle on track and the off-track battle of wills between the two drivers is well-handled, driven by excellent performances. But there isn't enough actual character development to justify the amount of time spent on the non-racing segments, and there isn't enough money or practical ability to focus on the racing segments more successfully than they do here. It all ends up being fun, but with a sense of also being underwhelming compared to some of the actual documentaries covering the events.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 25 January 2014
To any F1 fan that didn't get the chance to watch this great motion spectacular at the cinema i honestly feel sorry for you. You will never realise the true "blow away" nature of this film on the big screen aided by full surround sound audio. As a huge F1 fan i was lucky enough to take my girlfriend to see the film on release day, now she isn't the biggest F1 fan but even she liked the gripping nature of wheel to wheel action and realistic historical accuracy that director Ron Howard has attained, mainly due to the input that many people had given that were around at the time such as Nikki Lauda for example.

I have to compliment the two main actors who portrayed Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), not only do they resemble the two they are taking off remarkably well but they evidently did a lot of research regarding both of these two greats as you could easily mistake them both for the real thing. Hemsworth's portrayal of Hunt as a playboy who wants fame and Brühl's of Lauda as a man who almost has a machine like mentality to racing could not be better acted. The script is thoroughly enjoyable and has a good blend of racing, relationships, sex and fright although the main rivalry between the two drivers has been exaggerated beyond what it was in reality but that's to be expected to give the film a more gripping story. For those that need a little more background the film is based around the 1976 F1 Season but naturally does have some background based on what happened before and then after that period.

As for this specific product, You get a very nice Steel case matching the whole RUSH theme and inside you have the Blu-ray disk and also a copy of the film on DVD which means you'll still be able to watch it pretty much wherever you go. Part of the Limited Edition means you also get Deleted scenes and also behind the scenes and how the film was made.

Don't get me wrong you'll always find little things that have been put into a film that shouldn't be there, certainly as an avid F1 fan i prefer accuracy over many other things, but this is a film BASED on what happened and therefore not a total recreation of what happened yet the alterations they have made aren't enough to spoil it, indeed as a showcase of how things were back then this is fantastic, mostly accurate and gripping but I don't need to tell you that do I? You went to see it for yourself and left the cinema with the same conclusion.

VERDICT: It's a great film, if anything long overdue and the steel-book Limited edition makes it extra special for any F1 fan. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

P.S. Be aware that Amazon has lumped all the reviews of the DVD, Blu-ray and Steelbook Limited Edition together.
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on 27 July 2015
an alltime great film and criminally overlooked for awards.unbelievable that rubbish like gravity and 12 years a slave should rate higher than this .watch this film and learn .........
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on 17 February 2014
Watched it last night. One of the best films I've seen for ages. I enjoy formula one racing and thought the film was made professionally. Recommend it to others who like car racing.
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on 4 January 2016
Obviously you need a great script writer for the dramatisation but when you start with one of the greatest sporting stories of all time you'll be hard pushed to screw it up - and whoever it was, didn't.
This kept all six of our family on the edge of our seats. The kids loved it as did us adults. Obviously the older ones knew the story, the ending etc and we've seen most of the documentaries about Hesketh and the 1976 season so I can tell you there is very little poetic licence used here.
Sit back, crack a drink and toast a great rendition of one of sports greatest moments.
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on 23 August 2014
If you area a petrol head, there is no way you cannot enjoy this movie. I grew up in the seventies hearing these legendary names, Hunt & Lauda and seeing the odd GP when I was allowed. I had never known of the story or rivalry between the pair, and this is an epic telling of that story. Ron Howard has made a niche masterpiece with flawless continuity and brilliant edgy camera work that shows the polar opposites of approach between Hunt & Lauda. Both men were chasing the same objective, but for different agendas; Ron Howard has nailed that jarring contrast. Brilliant!
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