Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rush: The Last of a Dying Breed?

The answer to that question is I sure as hell hope not. I am referring to the genre of sports movie. The 30 for 30 series on ESPN has been making incredible sports documentaries for a few years now and even though they are not movies, they are keeping us sports junkies satisfied. Rush steps into the spotlight trying to fill that void of next great sports movie and boy does it deliver.

Rush is the true account of the on the track, off the track rivalry between Formula 1 drivers Nikki Lauda and James Hunt. The story focuses on the 1976 season but also includes important events from the prior 6 years leading up to what is still known as one of the best Formula 1 seasons to date.

The rivalry begins in Formula 3, or the equivalent of the minor leagues, as both drivers try to gain recognition and notoriety to make the move to Formula 1 and become stars. Ambition, determination, and the prospect of immortality in the racing world drive these two men to not only make the jump to Formula 1, but to become the faces of the sport as their personal competition with each other closely follows behind. What ensues in the following years is a compelling story and has to be seen to be believed.

What makes Rush so good is the perfect combination of interesting characters, fast paced action, quality directing, and a great story to go from. The main leads of Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl were perfect in their roles and had a chemistry that made you believe they were actually in a heated rivalry but what sold me was the incredible race sequences. Ron Howard (director) did a masterful job of arranging, CGI, real cars, and actual footage in succession to make the viewer understand how dangerous and nerve wracking it is to be in a time bomb (as it's referred to in the movie) going 170+ mph around an unpredictable track. A narration from the movie mentions that one track they race at has over 185 corners and bends compared to 4 in Nascar. Suck it Jimmy Johnson.

This movie is an outstanding piece of racing history that brings together all of the things that great cinema offers and left me not wanting to go back to the real world once it was finished. I would recommend this movie to any film fanatic and especially any sports fan. If anything else, you will gain a lot of respect for the price these men potentially pay every time they step on to the track. This movie is worth every minute and should be thrown on your to-watch list. It garners a solid A from me.

If you choose not to watch the movie then just watch the clip below. What these guys do for a living is insane and just know that this is hard to do in a video game, much less in real life with the consequence of a closed casket funeral. You definitely won't be getting your meth on and trying to Jeremy Mayfield it around these tracks.

On a side tangent, here are a couple of great documentaries on real racing that you've never heard about. Give them a look if you're interested as I promise they will not disappoint.



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