What I rate to be the best film of 2012 was a film that was set in the 1970’s, based on true events, and starring an actor who has appeared as a Marvel comic book character. Well, the early forerunner for that title in 2013 is a film set in the 1970’s, is based on true events, and also stars an actor who is a major character in Marvel’s cinematic universe.
‘Rush’ from director Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, best known for his role as ‘Thor’, and Daniel Bruhl, is at this point in time, the best film that I have seen so far in 2013 that was released during this year.
Set during the 1976 Formula One World Championship season, and featuring some interesting back story build up from the years prior to that, ‘Rush’ highlights one of the more interesting seasons that Formula One ever had, all during a period of time when Formula One racing still had a foothold in the United States of America.
As a result of the past that Formula One racing once had in North America, this film is clearly geared towards those who will remember racers like James Hunt and Niki Lauda and their exploits, but younger audiences should not let that deter them from seeing this film.
Ron Howard has crafted a wonderful retelling of the 1976 season, hitting on all of the critical junctures of the season with pitch perfect reaction from the involved parties, including the final falling out of Hunt’s marriage and the beginning of Lauda’s shortly thereafter, and how those two events drastically changed the 1976 Championship.
As for the actor’s, first off: Chris Hemsworth is James Hunt. No two ways about that. If you look at video of Hunt living the playboy race car driver life, Hemsworth looks like he could be his son. The role is just perfectly cast physically, and it is quite easy to see Hemsworth living that lifestyle as it just seems to suit him wonderfully.
As Niki Lauda, Daniel Bruhl just seems to ooze the unlikeable, cold demeanour that Lauda was known for, all the while allowing his team’s to build the best cars possible based on his technical feedback. Lauda was a superior driver and Bruhl translated that amazingly to the screen in what should be considered a breakout role.
Another great aspect of this film were the visuals. For a film based on 1976 technology, ‘Rush’ looks simply amazing. This is a testament to the time and effort put into this film not only by Howard but by his entire crew.
A mix of vintage and replica cars were used during filming, and filming also took place on the Nurburgring to showcase the season turning events of the 1976 German Grand Prix. Other key aspects shown on film were the injuries that were suffered by drivers in crashes and the carnage that these crashes wrought on the cars as well. All of this was wonderfully presented on screen and helped to enhance the telling of the story as well.
In the end, ‘Rush’ is currently at the top of my film tally for 2013, and is a wonderful tour de force from Ron Howard that shows stunning acting range from both Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl. A must see in theatres that anyone that has ever dreamt of driving a Formula One race car should run to see.
For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Cheers.