Director Ron Howard is no stranger to the world of high-speed car racing. Who could forget Grand Theft Auto, Howard’s directorial debut that saw the young actor put pedal to the metal alongside Nancy Morgan in a race to Las Vegas? Fast forward more than 30 years and Howard still has a need for speed, only this time the notion of love takes a back seat to the demands and power of Formula One racing. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, Rush is an exhilarating biopic that details the warring rivalry between Formula One racing legends James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

The strength of this entertaining and moving film is the veracity of the characters. Throughout the 1970s, Niki Lauda and James Hunt were equally fierce competitors on the racetrack, but polar extremes in all other facets of life; a paradox that somehow forged a very unique comradeship and pushed the pair to extreme lengths. Along with snippets of life and love interests for Hunt and Lauda beyond the racetrack, Rush is one of those films that has something for everyone, and gives true meaning to the phrase ‘opposites attract’.

 

Both Hemsworth and Bruhl do a terrific job of staying true to the real-life personas of Hunt and Lauda. Hemsworth is delectable as sexual adonis James Hunt. Rumoured to have slept with over 5,000 women in his heyday, life on and off the track was all shits and giggles for the talented racer. Lauda on the other hand, brilliantly portrayed by Bruhl, was painfully tactful with every move he made: “I accept every time I get in my car there’s 20 per cent chance I could die…”

 

Courage of the human spirit triumphs in this portrayal of what it took two drivers to survive the high stakes and high demands that is Formula One racing.

 

4/5 stars

 

BY HAYLIE PRETORIUS

 

 

Rush is in cinemas now.

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