To give our lovely readers an interesting review, something a little different than what we usually do, Marcey and Dan have sat down and give their thoughts on RUSH as a conversational piece, while still reviewing the film. Enjoy the back and forth between these two.
Marcey: Welcome folks to our discussion on RUSH, which I think I can safely say will be on my Top 10 of 2013 list.
Dan: It certainly has my vote for film of 2013
Marcey: RUSH tells the story about the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt back in the 70’s as they made their way from the F3 to F1. Now both of us are F1 fans, and I do admit from the trailers I was hesitant about the film, it didn’t give much away but I wasn’t quite sure how this would be played.
Dan: I think for me I was really blown away by the trailers that I saw because I could tell from the visuals that they were going to strive to make something that had a very authentic feel. I guess I wasn’t really too focused on the story aspect when I viewed the trailers, but when I saw that this was going to be a film about F1 when F1 was in it’s prime and the drivers really needed to know how to drive a car… Well I was just plain excited and couldn’t wait to see it!
Marcey: Indeed, I was absolutely pumped to see it, despite my feelings with the trailers. With you the visuals looked amazing but I wasn’t sure about how the story itself would be handled. Needless to say the story was handled very bloody well!
Dan: As soon as I knew Ron Howard was in charge of this I had no reservations about the story. I am not a huge Ron Howard fan, but I have seen his works such as FAR AND AWAY and A BEAUTIFUL MIND to know that the guy can craft a very good story.
Marcey: He’s a great filmmaker and I loved his recent film FROST/NIXON, so I definitely had excitement. I am glad I kept my expectations in check because I was able to sit back and relax and watch this all unfold. I wasn’t waiting for anything to happen, I let myself get swept up by the film and it was an incredible cinematic experience.
Dan: Yeah for sure. I felt like the journey was perfectly paced, no slow parts or missing parts leaving you wondering what was going on. I definitely got the feeling that everything within the film was there for a simple reason and that was to serve the story. There was no unnecessary flashy exposition to try and market F1 or anything else. It was straight up and to the point.
Marcey: Indeed, it actually developed the characters properly, we had scenes that showed us exactly who they were and why they had such drive and ambition. It was simply done too, and the scenes really do make us understand these men. We also get to see their first meeting and it is obvious as to why they butt heads and where their issues lie with each other. These are not two very likeable men, and nor do they need to be, we get invested with the story and whats happening, it doesn’t hold back on giving us their full picture and why they act the way they do and where their need to strive for perfection comes from.
Dan: Yes… Both characters are opposite sides of the same coin. One measured, precise and professional to the letter. The other loose, approximate and certainly not professional in their attitude toward racing and life. The most commendable aspect is that these characters clearly exhibit evolution. The greatest conflict each character is not their opponent, but the conflict within themselves. Both Hunt and Lauda learn as much from their rival as much as they impart on their rival from themselves. This results in both characters growing through the course of the movie. This is something that is completely lacking in a lot of movies today. A prime example of this is THOR 2. Hemsworth who plays Hunt in RUSH plays the title role of Thor in THOR 2. In RUSH you get a real sense of character development and evolution. His day of reckoning comes when he punches out that reporter for the obnoxious question he asks Niki Lauda. Compare this against THOR 2 where there was really no development or evolution of the character from start to finish. I think that Rush clearly demonstrates that Hemsworth has the acting chops required of a decent movie role when provided with a decent script and great direction. I see this as a fantastic testament to whole creative team on Rush.
Marcey: Very much so, which is fantastic how they developed these characters and how their issues with each other were very much with themselves. Despite the issues there is a great respect between them, as seen later on in the film. They both have huge ego’s, in different ways and this clouds them, once let go they both get to see things clearly.
I loved how we got to see the type of people they were, Lauda was very focused, precise and he knew he needed to be a great driver as well as having the best car. Hunt was more of a free spirit, extremely talented but he seemed to go more off of his instincts than being a man of science so to speak.
Both men are excellent here, they are not doing impressions of Hunt and Lauda, Hemsworth and Bruhl actually create characters before our eyes. They inhabit these creatures and take them to the limit.
Dan: Yes absolutely… There was not a point in the film where I thought that I was watching Chris Hemsworth or Daniel Bruhl. To me I was simply seeing Niki Lauda and James Hunt. To me that is the ultimate measure of success of an actors performance. The point where I am really drawn into the film and believe that what I am seeing actually took place. This coupled with the absolutely incredible cinematography sold me on what I was seeing was completely real. Looking at the graphics during race time I can tell that the film makers studied the Documentary on Senna and went into this with the decision to evoke memories of viewing that within the audience.
Marcey: There is no doubt this film looked amazing, the racing scenes are fantastic you can feel the cars. They knew what they were doing, they wanted to give the audience a real sense of F1 and racing. It is a beautiful looking film, every moment is captured with a lot of passion.
Dan: Yes that is certain… The film makers strived to make us feel as though we were back in the 1970’s. With the inter-cuts of actual race footage for TV screens it completely provided the illusion that the audience is there witnessing this battle between two F1 heavy-weights.
Marcey: It did feel very 70’s authentic, and there are so many good scenes. I loved the scene of Niki in Italy where he comes across some young Italian lads who are so excited to be driven by Niki Lauda.
Dan: Yes absolutely.. the film is just absolutely chocked full with gold moments like that. When he buys his way into the the F1 team and re-designs the car and gets Clay Rigazoni to drive it and prove that it is indeed 2 seconds faster. The film is just filled with them.
Marcey: That is such a great scene/sequence, as you said the film has so many of them. I found it to be a very emotional film, spoilers if you seriously have no idea about Niki or the events of the film but the lead up to what I knew was coming with the accident and Niki suffering those horrific burns, I was in tears and in a white knuckle situation. I have to give props to all involved for that sequence and the aftermath in the hospital, just wow!
Dan: Yes absolutely… To be honest I didn’t think that they would cover the rehabilitation process for Niki in the film, but it was nothing short of brilliant. It lends so much weight to the character and Bruhl’s performance. It was very confronting, but not in a horror type fashion. More like wow! I knew it was bad, but damn this is really eye opening stuff…
Marcey: Got to love 70’s medicine huh? But yes it was incredibly confronting and upsetting and honestly give Bruhl the Oscar right now for his performance. He’s brilliant.
Dan: Yes I really can’t argue with that.
I know a lot of die hard F1 fans have some minor issues with some of the technical aspects of the film, but I feel as though that given the allotted time for the film the film makers did their best to really tell a fantastic gripping and heart moving story.
Marcey: It might be based on a true story, but at the same time it is a film and it cannot be 100% accurate or authentic and people need to understand that and let go of those really silly issues.
Dan: It’s hard to say yay or neigh to the very few criticisms of the film as the events take place before my time, but from the documentaries I have seen on F1 and particularly one about Niki Lauda I really can’t find too much to really fault the film with.
Marcey: It does its job extremely well, its a highly engaging and entertaining film that tells a very important story.
Another key part to the film is certainly the score and soundtrack. I honestly feel that this is Hans Zimmer’s best work since Gladiator. His score in every scene just evokes Formula 1 and the mood perfectly. Couple that with some great songs like Gimme Some Lovin’ during the Formula 3 sequence it is just perfect. I am actually listening to it now and in my mind I can just see the driver’s lining up on the grid. I can feel the power of the cars just waiting to be unleashed through the score… Despite the Man of Steel and Batman scores being enjoyable pieces of music, I had find them a little generic and I was beginning to have my doubts about Zimmer’s abilities. Was his best scoring years behind him? I think this score answers that with an emphatic and resounding no.
Marcey: The score and soundtrack are excellent, the score just compliments every scene and the music cues just add so much to each scene. They aren’t there simply to be there, they do serve a purpose and I loved that about it. I am with you definitely a high point for Zimmer in his career..
Dan: Yeah… I honestly really can’t fault the film. While I probably would have liked to have seen more of the dangers of that era of F1 highlighted, I could understand that it really needed to be left out for the sake of pacing. I should also point out that one of the stunt drivers for the film Sean Edwards was killed a couple weeks after the film opened in Australia on a Queensland race circuit. Sean in fact played his father in the film, the man who risked it all to get Niki Lauda out of his burning Ferrari F1 car. So to him we say RIP. This review is dedicated to him and his spirit. I give the film a solid 5/5! Best film of 2013
Marcey: Extremely heartbreaking with Sean and RIP to him, a life cut short is very tragic. With this film, as you said I can’t find fault with it either, it’s fantastic and I loved it. Easily one of the best films this year, 5/5 no doubt!