Premise: Let me set the scene, man... It's 1976, and we're talkin' Formula One Racing stuff, bro. In one car, there's James Hunt; a British ladies' man with long blonde hair, played by Chris Helmsworth (Hemsworth? Helm? Hem? I don't know, whatever, THOR). He's only here to do two things: drink some beer and win the Formula One racing circuit. And it looks like he's allllll out of beer. In the other car is Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Brühl, the sniper guy from Inglorious Basterds), a straight-talking Austrian with a strict attitude and a desire to follow the rules. Lauda likes his cars to be exactly 180 cm wide. Hunt likes his cars to be "Who gives a crap? Let's party!" cm wide. Now, thanks to an angry judge, the two are forced to live with each other in a swanky Brooklyn apartment. Will they get along? Who will ask Olivia on a date first? Can they both work together at the same pizza shop at the mall? You'll find out all of these answers on "RUSH TO CONCLUSIONS", this fall on CBS.
-I was probably 95% entertained during this movie. There's a few boring, played-out scenes with Hunt's wife, but other than that, it really is a fast-moving, engaging film.
-So is this what Fast & Furious would look like if it tried to win an Oscar? I like it. Benefits from lack of Vin Diesel.
-Brühl is a pretty good actor. So far, I've only seen him in this and Inglorious Basterds, but he's knocked it out of the park both times.
-I enjoyed how Lauda's injury basically turned him into a real-life Frankenstein from Death Race 2000. I only wish he painted teeth on the front of his car.
-All of the racing action was really good. The races were all well-shot and edited. Occasionally the post-production department would get really creative on how they displayed on-screen text, and how they cut together close-up shots. I liked all that stuff.
-With maybe one or two scenes aside, the movie really is about the developing conflict between the two racers. The scenes when they aren't in the same place together still have a competitive undertone. Even some of the scenes where I was like, "Why are they showing me this minor crap?", eventually come back later in the form of an insult or something. ZING, you got him, Niki! Way to exploit his failed marriage in public! [high five]
-Whoa, are those boobs? Hey, they're swearing a lot! I thought this was PG-13...? [checks ticket stub, sees *R*] OHHHHH. Niiiiiice. I got hit with a surprise R.
-Any movie with a central conflict about two guys debating who is the bigger a**hole is alright in my book. I mean that literally, too. They say call each other "a**hole" about forty times in this film. And you know what, they really are. Hunt is the arrogant carefree a**hole type, and Lauda is the brooding know-it-all a**hole type. Together they really cover the whole a**hole spectrum (the rectum?).
-It fell into many of the same traps and clichés that most biographic films fall into. But I'd say the subject matter is more entertaining than one about British royalty or something, so it makes up for an occasionally mundane scene of Hunt staring reflectively into the distance during a party, wondering "What is the point of all of this...?" So, yeah... BIOPICS GONNA BIOPIC.
-On that note, Thor isn't that good of an actor, is he? I mean, he's alright, I guess. Luckily the casting call was searching for "tall, handsome, British-type with dreamy eyes." WHERE WERE YOU ON THIS ONE, CHARLIE HUNNAM? YOUR AGENT REALLY DROPPED THE BALL.
-I know this all happened in real life, and they show a lot of time pass in short periods of screen time in several situations, but I could NOT follow the scoring system of the Formula One circuit. Lauda finished a whole bunch of races in first, and Hunt got disqualified for a bunch. But then Lauda was out of commission for a month or so. But then the final race still had Lauda still in the running, with Hunt needing a fifth place finish or something to get 3 points...? HUH? I just went with it, I guess.
-Olivia Wilde gets third billing in this? She's in it for like five minutes.
-Is it just me, or is Ron Howard the least auteur super-famous director in Hollywood? I never would have guessed that he directed this, had I not seen his name come up in the end credits. I guess that's not really a complaint, since I thought the movie was good, but ya know. Just sayin'.
-Missed opportunity to play "2112" under the entire film.
Final Thoughts: I was actually planning on giving this a lower rating right after I saw it, but in the days since then, it's sort of grown on me. It's a really watchable movie. It's a lot of fun. I'm not even a fan of cars in general, but it's just the kind of film that makes it interesting. Rush isn't a movie I ever plan on purchasing on home video, or actively sitting down and watching again, distraction-free. But when it eventually gets on HBO, I'd totally be happy with having it on in the background while I eat food or clip my toenails or something.
8 out of 10
I'll see it this weekend, I hope. It has one of the best cut trailers of the year.
Frankenheimer is the standard to beat.
I got to see RUSH this weekend, and boy, did I like it. Very lyrical shooting and editing, excellent pace, the blend of racing action and character development is just about right. You can see and feel the relationship between the two men grow and change, and see how much it changes them. Truly a great "bro" pic, but there's enough narrative depth there for all genders to appreciate.
Has Zimmer's scoring here grabs you by the ears and drags you along at great speed and power. I had to have this soundtrack as soon as I finished the movie. But on the funny side, Rush has a powerful montage set to Spencer-Davis' "Gimmee Some Lovin' ", and when I went back to you tube to check, yes, there is the same song in a similar montage in "Days OF Thunder". Which was also scored by... anybody? Zimmer. :-)
I gave the "Thunder" score a re-listen, and the one for "Rush" is different, better. The "Thunder" score has more cheesy synths, sounds more like Top Gun's Harold Faltermeyer.
Might be fun to research all the film scenes and montages where 'Gimme Some Lovin" is used. The song is just so great, it's exuberance and drive improve anything you lay it up against.