Film Talk: Looking Back – A return to the track with Rush
I can barely believe it's been ten years since this one dropped.
It genuinely feels like mere moments since we were in the pits with this behemoth of a biopic that turned the heads of the uninitiated far and wide to the passion behind one of motor racing's most exciting eras.
Directed by the legendary Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, 2013's Rush was a triumph in sports storytelling that brought the rivalry of 70s F1 gods James Hunt and Niki Lauda to life on the silver screen.
Written by Peter Morgan, the film took audiences back to the 1976 Formula One season, where the hot-headed Hunt and the cool and calculating Lauda battled for dominance on the track. As their rivalry develops, so does their passion and determination, with consequences eventually proving dire.
With man-of-the-moment Hemsworth cast opposite the hugely talented Brühl, the spotlight was on this one, and the anticipation high. But when the chequered flag was waved, would Rush delight the critics and bring home the box office bank?
Both behind the wheel and off the track, British racing star James Hunt (Hemsworth) Hunt and Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Brühl) were poles apart in the men that they were.
Rockstar playboy Hunt was the antithesis of the austere technical perfectionist that was Lauda, yet their will to win transcended the divide in their personalities and built one of the greatest and most exciting rivalries in motorsport history.
Both men were among the most talented drivers ever to grace the racetrack, and the 1976 F1 season belonged to them. But when a horrific crash during the Grand Prix at the Nürburgring nearly results in tragedy, the game is upped, and both racers realises they are no longer fighting for glory, but quite possibly their lives.
Released just over a decade ago to date, Rush smashed it at the box office, with a worldwide gross of $98.2 million against an estimated budget of $38 million.
Critics justly heaped praise on the performances of both Hemsworth and Brühl, with the film in general receiving rave reviews. Even Lauda himself was reportedly pleased with the flick, having been quoted as saying: "When I saw it the first time I was impressed. There was no Hollywood changes or things changed a little bit Hollywood-like. It is very accurate. And this really surprised me very positively."
With the 'Thorsome' Hemsworth, and also Brühl, known for their work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is only right that ten years on from Rush's release, we acknowledge that the best work of both men doesn't need to involve capes.
Boosted by an incredible supporting cast including Olivia Wilde, Natalie Dormer and Alexandra Maria Lara, this one is an adrenaline-fuelled dream right up to the finish line, and one of the most compelling flicks the immortal Ron Howard has ever turned his hand to.
Currently available to stream on Netflix, if you haven't seen it, Rush could be the drive of your life.