Introducing my new feature, “Review Plus Three.” As the Assistant Entertainment Editor, I’ll be writing about various pop culture-related things for The Eagle, but there’s always room to expand. Here are three more thoughts on Ron Howard’s racing drama Rush.)
“Director Ron Howard’s biographical drama “Rush” takes nearly half an hour to rev its engines, but once it does, it’s a solid, sturdy, frequently thrilling survey of two adrenaline-craving Formula One racers battling for the coveted 1976 championship title.”
Read the rest of my Rush review here. Click through for three more thoughts!
1. Howard and his team successfully capture the (for lack of a less clichéd term) high-octane world of Formula One racing both on and off the track. Though the editing is often lightning-quick, we’re rarely confused about who’s in front, who’s just crashed and how the drivers are feeling. Credit to cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Dredd, Trance) as well: he makes the world look just real enough to be convincing, but not without a bit of fantasy lighting to convey the passion these racers feel for their sport.
2. I said it in the review, and I’ll say it again: Chris Hemsworth is a total movie star here. The camera loves him, and it’s easy to see why: he seems scientifically engineered for maximum charisma, but he comes off as completely organic, not forced like so many wannabe heartthrobs. He’s perfectly cast as James Hunt, himself a nearly impenetrable casanova, and his character is well-matched against Bruhl’s Niki Lauda, who lacks Hunt’s charisma but might have something more important instead: wisdom.
3. Should this movie have aspired to greater thematic depth? Probably not, given the simplicity of the (pun intended) story engine. While it would have been interesting to get a less formulaic sense of the lives of these two men, and perhaps more insight into their relationships with women and even the other racers, Howard and Morgan chose a more streamlined approach to a story that engages even without revelatory screenwriting. Ultimately, this movie is no classic, and doesn’t opt for too many surprising mid-race shakeups, but it is what it says it wants to be, which is more than many movies can claim.