Rush 一級雙雄 (2013) – USA
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 30th September 2013
Starring: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara
Directed by: Ron Howard
Releasing Hong Kong from 3rd October 2013
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Director Ron Howard struck gold again with his latest bio-pic on two polar opposites F1 rivals and the result is almost stunning on both an emotional level and inspiring character depth. “Rush” is precisely the kind of movie that makes people want to go to the cinema and what a way to kick off the list of potential Oscar candidates with the bar setting high and up. This is the sort of film the creep onto you slowly and before you realise it, you are already hooked. Quality films about car racing is far and in between, the last notable one coming from Hong Kong’s Johnnie To in “All About Ah Long”, starring the great Chow Yun Fat. “Rush” works because it explores the realities of the situation, the thrill and death chasing of 70s Formula 1 racing and the real characters behind those wheels. The film reaches the crescendo when Daniel Brühl (who plays Niki Lauda) crashes his car, suffer burns to every part of his body and still manages to get out of hospital through sheer determination to race again. It is these kind of magical moments of inspiration that makes the film so good, so compelling and almost overwhelming with emotions. Indeed there are flaws within the film, such as the lack of details into James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth)’s first wife Suzy (Olivia Wilde) and the dynamics of their relationship could show more depth in Hunt’s character and rather than the simple flamboyant style and flair. Still, as far as F1 or car racing films are concerned, “Rush” easily goes to the top of the pack and punches above its weight and expectations.
Daniel Brühl’s uncanny resemblance to Niki Lauda’s real life looks is almost unquestioned, but his heartfelt performance is what lifted the film above its genre conventions. Lauda is exactly defines what it truly takes to be labeled as someone with an never-give-up attitude to life. What Lauda didn’t noticed was that, he became more like James Hunt, after the accident, as he flirted with death by racing so soon after the incident. However, it is also the film’s most satisfying and inspiring moment to name. In fact, Hunt also became more like Lauda, by not giving up and focusing on winning the World Championship. It is the spirit of the two that made the movie so emotionally resonating and ultimately leaving the audience thinking about their own life and how it should be lived. While our lives will never be as exhilarating as Lauda or Hunt, there are aspects of their approach to life, that we can live and learn from.
All in all, “Rush” is a perfect film to kick off the 2013’s Oscar race and director Ron Howard have once again created a film that shows human’s passion to be alive and how mentally tough humans can be when pushed to the very limit. I am not saying that we should all go out and start speeding our cars around the corners of our neighborhood, but “Rush” represents precisely why we watch movies, the need to be excited, emotional, thought-provoking and ultimately inspiring. It is rare for a racing film to strike the chord with the audience with both exhilarating car racing and equally good dramatic characters. In fact, “Rush” is most likely the best film about car racing since Johnnie To’s 1989 “All About Ah Long” and like the aforementioned film, it’s quality and that’s enough for me. (Neo 2013)
I rated it 9/10