Rush ★★★½

A rather by-the-numbers, and yet entertaining, recounting of a vitriolic rivalry between two drivers who enter the Formula 1 world and seek to plant their flag (or should that be “wave their flag”? I’m not so good with racing metaphors).

You’ll find a lot of excitement in great driving sequences, but the craft tying this whole film together is sickly sweet in the most Hollywood way possible. Ron Howard submits another unsurprising directorial effort, where
“Chekhov’s Gun”
is the name of the game in almost all of action sequences. But this time, Howard attempts to infuse some style into his usual middle-of-the-road aesthetic. Unfortunately, that style makes the majority of this film look as though it were shot entirely through Instagram filters in the hands of a twelve year-old who just discovered the limitless options of colour toning. It doesn’t get in the way of the film, exactly, but rarely does it ever add to the film in any meaningful way.

The brash charm that Chris Hemsworth exudes is never fully believable, although his antics are still quite fun to witness, while Daniel Brühl gives a much more engaging performance as Niki Lauda, a far more interesting character to Hemsworth’s superficial James Hunt, but one who tends to get painted as the villain more often than not. The supporting cast is, at best, superfluous or, at worst, grating. But we’re here to see a rivalry between two hotheads, anyway. And, in that regard, the film ultimately does deliver.

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