In what is one of the most thrilling films of the year, Rush tells the true story of Formula 1 racing car rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
The intense rivalry between their respective racing teams, McLaren and Ferrari, took place in 1976.
Chris Hemsworth plays James Hunt, the English racing car driver also known for his off-track exploits with women, sex, and drugs. Daniel Bruhl plays Niki Lauda, the famous Austrian racing car driver and three-time F1 World Champion who was disfigured in a car crash during a race (which did not stop him from competing again). Rush is set against the backdrop of the glamour and excitement of Formula 1 racing and in the 1976 Formula One season, which featured the 1976 World Championships of F1 drivers and the 1976 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, and was contested over a sixteen race series.
In the film, McLaren driver Hunt takes the World Championship by one point over Ferrari driver Lauda, who is determined more than ever to win the World Championship himself. The Formula One races took the drivers all over the world, beginning with Brazil and next to South Africa, then to the U.S., Spain, Monaco, Sweden and France. From one thrilling race scene to another, with Hunt winning a few and then Lauda winning a few, Rush excitedly portrays the rivalry between both men, their ups and downs and their wins and losses, both on and off the track.
This includes the many affairs of Hunt, and his brief marriage to model Suzy Miller (a fantastic Olivia Wilde), who would go on to leave him and wed Richard Burton. Lauda, on the other hand, meets and marries Marlene Knaus (a very lovely Alexandra Maria Lara), and it is not long after that he is in an almost-deadly car crash in the German Grand Prix that causes severe burns to his head and body, and in which Lauda inhales toxic gases that damage his lungs and blood. As a result of the crash, Lauda had extensive scarring on his head, lost most of his right ear, and lost the hair on his eyebrows and eyelids. Miraculously, Lauda would return to the race track six weeks later to finish in 4th place in the Italian Grand Prix, though at the time he was still severely scarred and still bleeding from his wounds.
Directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost Nixon), with a script by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon), Rush has Academy Award and BAFTA written all over it. With excellent lead performances by both Hemsworth and Bruhl (with Bruhl having the extra edge because of horrific car crash scene), to the very good performances by both actresses Lara and Wilde, Rush will be the movie to watch and the movie to beat at all of the film awards next year. Even for non-Formula One racing car fans, Rush is a thrill-a-minute and expertly tells the story of the rivalry between Hunt and Bruhl.
Hunt would go on to die of a heart attack in 1993 at the age 45 due to his fast and furious lifestyle, while Lauda would go on to become a television pundit and is still alive today.