Despite the fact that I love F1 dearly, I’m usually hesitant to try and get my friends into it. It’s hard to defend ethically or environmentally, it’s run by a bunch of grumpy old men (in one case the son of a famous Fascist), the drivers are mostly a bit dull, and most importantly, the sport itself is pretty boring to watch. Rush, the new Ron Howard blockbuster, is a different story however, and has a far wider appeal than just to F1 nerds like me. Here’s a look at some reasons why:
1. It’s full of hot women (and men)
It’s no secret that Hunt was a bit of a playboy, and Ron Howard clearly saw this as a license to throw in a few sex scenes in between the racing. Natalie Dorma’s character stands out in particularly, but Alexandra Maria Lara is also surprisingly hot as Niki Lauda’s wife. Hemsworth and Bruhl, who play Hunt and Lauda, are pretty good lookers themselves (if that's what you're into).
2. It’s light on F1 Jargon
If you’ve ever watched an F1 race and been bored to death by talk of ‘fuel mixes’ and ‘option tyres’, then you’ll be relieved to know that Rush contains none. Like the brilliant Senna before it, it’s a film about people who happen to be sports stars, rather than a film about a sport.
3. F1 was totally different in the 1970s anyway
It might be boring now, but for F1 drivers in 1976, life was a terrifying, exciting and sometimes short affair. Jackie Stewart famously retired in 1973 while still in his prime – not because he’d fallen out of love with the sport, but because 70s he had an incredible 1 in 3 chance of surviving another 3 years in the sport.
4. It’s also not at all Cheesey
Ron Howard strikes a great balance between being faithful to the material, and keeping things exciting. Pretty much all of the events in the film actually happened, and while some of them have been sensationalised a little, the film never feels fake.
5. The little details are all spot on
Not only are things like the names of drivers and teams that Lauda and Hunt raced against in 1976 all correct, but the CGI cars look incredibly gritty and real, and corner, skid and crash in a visceral way.
6. Daniel Bruhl is perfect as Lauda
Given the ‘heart vs head’ dilemma than Hunt vs Lauda represents, it would have been easy to portray Lauda as a bit of a dour bean counter. In Bruhl’s hands however, he is incredibly easy to empathise with, and provides some of the films most touching and relatable moments.
7. It’s a great story
It’s been put several times that the real events portrayed in Rush are so ridiculous that were they made up they would be dismissed as totally implausible. Not boring, then.
8. It’s genuinely emotional
I know, it’s a film about racing drivers. But honestly, without spoiling the story, the dilemma faced by one of the main characters at the end of the film, and the decision he ultimately takes, is an incredibly affecting moment which made the whole film for me.