Professional racecar driving has great elements that you can use for a blockbuster movie – competition and exhilaration of a high-speed race. Rush is able to make the most of these but at the expense of something else.
Rush is a well-directed entertaining movie with great performances. Chris Hemsworth is perfect as the likable charming douchebag while Daniel Bruhl delivers a great performance as his methodical antagonistic arch-nemesis.
Cinematography, editing, sound design, and commentary made racing scenes exciting. There’s a visual trick borrowed from Fast and the Furious – inside shots of the engine – which made it interesting.
While the leads did very well in portraying two well-known race car drivers, their characters and their rivalry doesn’t have the dramatic weight needed to give this movie its gravitas.
Out of all the drivers there, you’re not given a convincing reason as to why Hunt and Lauda gravitated towards each other. Cockiness comes naturally in any competition.
Their lives off track are also poorly defined. Little is spent on their personal relationships. You’re left to assume that bad boy Hunt made a poor effort in maintaining his marriage, while Marlene somehow managed to love an unapologetic asshole after a serendipitous adventure in the countryside. Both actresses who played the roles are severely underused – Olivia Wilde is just there to look pretty, while Alexandra Maria Lara spends most of the movie worried.
As a result, there’s no character to root for. It’s hinted that their rivalry probably stemmed from secret envy, but it’s not fully explored.
Rush isn’t a substantial biopic between two arch-rivals, but it’s an entertaining racing movie.
Rush is a slick and thrilling sports biopic that's crippled by an underdeveloped premise and poorly defined characters.