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Archive for the ‘Rush’ Category

Rush

I’ve never liked Ron Howard.  In fact it’s safe to say that I’ve hated every Ron Howard film for the past 30 years.  The last one I liked being 1982’s Night Shift….scratch that 1986’s Gung Ho was genius, but since then I felt Hollywood has been giving him a free pass to pretend like his films are everything but mediocre at best.  Rush is his new film, and this is what I think about it…

Chris Hemsworth stars as James Hunt, a formula race car driver who has a long standing rivalry with Niki Lauda, a German race car driver played by Daniel Bruhl, best known as the sniper in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterd’s.  Hunt is outlandish.  He does what he wants and is the king of formula racing in the 1970s.  No one can touch him, but Lauda wants to win more than anyone he has faced in the past.  So begins an epic rivalry.

Rush is about race-car driving.  It’s about the intricate details of building a machine that is slightly lighter, has slightly more horsepower, has slightly more performance, and means a world of difference on the track.  It’s about rivalry when two men are at the top of their game, during a time when Formula racing was one of the most popular sports in the world. That’s all it should be about.  Instead it tries to go all Days of Thunder on us.  Formula becomes formulaic.

There are glimpses of how great this film could be.  Financial issues that plagued racing in the 70s, car brands that became, and still are, some of the great powerhouses in auto-manufacturing today…but it just hints at that these ideas. Hunt has issues with his wife, and the role that sex plays in trying to understanding his relationship with women.  If the film focused on this connection between sex, racing, and only Hunt it could have been one of the best films of the year.   Just when it begins to scratch the surface Rush decides to just go for the entertainment factor, but it’s too late.  Howard always directs with a heavy hand trying so hard to make a point.

Rush doesn’t feel like a Ron Howard film at times, but he still feels the need to make Rush pretend to be more important than it is.  Some of the racing scenes are fantastic though and save the film from being extremely boring.

Grade: C+