16 Oct 2013

"Rush"- the real deal.

I went to see RUSH the movie this morning.I had hoped for a wet day because I don't like going to the cinema when the sun is shining but dull days are in short supply around here nowadays and the movie won't be on for ever so I went.
I am not a big fan of motor racing movies although Senna was different as it was a documentary and I am not a fan of Steve McQueen's Le Mans -- great racing footage but spoilt by the almost total lack of a plot and the most appalling wooden dialogue-although as an owner of a 1971 silver Porsche 911 the opening sequence has to be my all time favourite movie sequence.
The movie Grand Prix was almost comic.It was from another era and best left in peace.
Rush is a different matter altogether.Even as a dyed in the wool F1 fan of that era I have to say that director Ron Howard and scriptwriter Peter Morgan have done a pretty remarkable job.The actors-Chris Hemsworth who plays James Hunt and Daniel Brühl who plays Nicki Lauda -really do resemble their characters.In the closing sequence the film uses archival footage of James Hunt and I had to do a double take to realise that it was the real James.See A beer with James
The cinematography is superb-very tight and in your face as is the way nowadays which I really like- and the attention to detail in the props and clothing is superb.I only spotted a couple of errors in the tiniest details but that's being very pedantic.Overall the effect is wonderful.The British do nostalgia so well.
The racing sequences are really very good - they mainly use real F1 cars of the era with facsimilies only used for some of the crash sequences.It was great to see F3 cars "racing" at one of my personal favourite circuits -the long defunct Crystal Palace circuit in South London.Howard and his team have done an excellent job of turning Blackbushe Aerodrome in the south of England into various circuits.They also did filming at Nurburgring,Donington,Brands Hatch,Snetterton and Cadwell Park in the UK.
It's not all sunshine and roses.There are a coupIe of cringe generating scenes early in the film when some technical aspects of F1 cars are spelt out in a pedestrian and naive manner I guess for the benefit of non racing enthusiast movie goers but really the scenes were not necessary and could have well been left out.
For me the only real jarring aspect of the film is that the whole basis of the storyline is that Hunt and Lauda seriously disliked each other and there was real friction between them when in fact apparently they were good mates with Lauda even bunking down in Hunt's flat when he was in London.But without the implied emnity the film would not work and at the end of the day it is entertainment not a documentary.

Rush.Go and see it - on a big screen.It is well worth the effort.Ron Howard and Peter Morgan and the cast have done something many others have failed to do -create a great motor racing movie.

There is a very sad postscript to the above story in that Sean Edwards who plays the part of his father Guy Edwards driving one of the F1 cars in the film was killed yesterday whilst giving driving tuition to a driver in a Porsche at Brisbane Raceway here in Australia.Sean was leading the European Porsche Supercup series.The saddest part is that Sean was only here on a working holiday -his first visit to Australia - and his family witnessed the accident.

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