With Rush, Ron Howard turns his directorial attention to the 1970’s Formula 1 rivalry between English racer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).
We get a great early indication of the kind of character James Hunt is when at the start of the film he turns up at a hospital injured, dressed in full race gear, and tells the nurse that his wounds came as a result of a fling with another racers wife. Naturally, he then charms her into sleeping with him too. So there you have it, as markers go, Hunt is well set up as a play boy, 2 parts arrogance to one part charm. The first time we see him race is in Formula 3 where he is established as a top racer. It’s here that he comes across Niki Lauda for the first time, and their great rivalry is born.
Lauda is nowhere near as flashy as the Englishman. Instead, he is a devoted, rather dour individual, incredibly skilled at racing and extremely knowledgeable in the setting up of a racing car. Not willing to hang around in the lower divisions, he finds a team short of money and buys his way into Formula 1, prompting Hunt’s team to do the same thing. Continue reading