Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published September 26, 2013 at 12:11 AM | Page modified September 26, 2013 at 2:04 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (18)
  • Print

‘Rush’: a noisy, almost total wreck of a race-car tale

A movie review of Ron Howard’s “Rush,” a garish enterprise that almost — though not quite — trivializes the true-life tale of Formula One race-car-driver Niki Lauda.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 2 stars

‘Rush,’ with Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl. Directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay by Peter Morgan. 123 minutes. Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use. Several theaters.

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Ron Howard is among the fine film makers working today. While I have yet to see this... MORE
I have to admit that as a race car driver, sometimes all you see is the smoke... MORE
"This movie is getting an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and 84% on IMDB. The author of... MORE

advertising

There’s a truly gripping story at the core of “Rush” of how famed Formula One driver Niki Lauda was nearly killed in a horrific crash at the 1976 German Grand Prix that left him with a terribly burned face and damaged lungs. And yet only six weeks later he was back in the cockpit, competing — and winning — again.

Such courage. Such willpower. Such are the things that action movies are made of. Too bad the movie that Ron Howard has actually made is mostly a lot of noise and nonsense, a garish enterprise that almost — though not quite — trivializes the tale.

That tale is about the rivalry between two drivers: Lauda and James Hunt. Played with an easygoing insouciance by Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Hunt, a Brit, is a longhair party animal who has merely to cast his roving eye on any random passing beauty and — Boom! — into his bed that beauty hops.

By contrast, Lauda (Daniel Brühl), an Austrian, is a Teutonic caricature: a maximally arrogant, obsessively detail-oriented cold fish whose scorn for his hedonistic rival drips from every icy pore. Though the major focus is on Hemsworth’s Hunt, it’s Bruhl’s performance that dominates. He’s caustic and compelling compared with Hemsworth’s blandness.

They’re like oil and water, these two, calling each other names, flipping the bird, but at the same time exhibiting a grudging respect for each other’s driving skills. That’s a stark and simplistic dynamic, and Howard’s handling of it is disappointingly simple-minded.

As for the racing sequences: oh dear. Those seem to have been edited with a Cuisinart. They’re chaotic assemblages of smoking tires, howling exhaust pipes, spinouts, crashes — all coming at you so fast you have little sense of how the races are progressing.

Only Brühl’s standout performance prevents “Rush” from becoming a total wreck.

Soren Andersen: asoren7575@yahoo.com

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

What do you know about the Image Duplicator?

What do you know about the Image Duplicator?

View an iconic Pop art image and enter to win a trip for two to Vancouver, B.C.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►