4.2Overall Score

The most exhausting and interesting week of the movie year 2013 has passed. Until the next Oscar season kicks off in the fall, we can only hope that we at least get some good summer blockbusters in. In the meantime, one can only hope that enough must-sees of 2013 have been missed throughout the year. It might sound weird, but my No.1 missed movie of 2013 was Rush. From the moment, I saw the trailer and heard about the story portraying the rivalry between Nikki Lauda (the solid F1 RTL co-commentator) and James Hunt (who I had quite frankly never heard before), I knew this will be a great piece of entertainment….and I was right. Aside from telling an interesting story, Ron Howard seemed to have the same goal like Robbie Williams in mind: “Let me entertain you”.

And he does so successfully for the entire 123 minutes and I have to ask myself why this movie was snubbed by the Academy; supporting actor, sound mix, visual effects and cinematography would have been worth at least a nomination. And quite frankly, I thought this movie was at least equally entertaining as American Hustle – if not more. One might wonder why I’m praising this movie so much, the reason probably lies in my soft spot for one of the most awesome race movies ever (No.8 on The Rewatchables Part 1 – Days of Thunder). That movie was Tom Cruise, Nascar racing against an “evil” rival, cheesy love story and easy-digest-drama packaged in a Tony Scott spectacle. Ron Howard crafts a more sophisticated evolution of the race car theme with a focus mainly around the rivalry of two very determined men with very different characteristics – a risk-loving, charming and beautiful James Hunt played by the even more beautiful Chris Hemsworth against the calculating, grumpy and technical Austria Nikki Lauda fantastically played by Daniel Bruehl. One particular element about the rivalry in this movie was not having the ultimate good guy against the evil villan from the evil other team. I personally was rooting for Nikki Lauda – but well I am also German – but the crux of this film is that it doesn´t make you root for only guy but just be all tense and engaged on the rivalry itself and the interesting relationship which motivated each of them in different ways (one to come back at all costs and one to prove that he is the better driver).


From an acting perspective Daniel Bruehl has more opportunity to show his talent. I felt his portrayal of pure determination and absolute focus at all costs while living out the conflict between happiness and hunger for success were put on screen greatly by him. And his performance did deserve at least a nomination as best supporting or main actor even in that competitive field. Again I felt Rush was the superior movie over American Hustle and Bruehl delivered the superior acting over both Bradley Cooper and Christian Bales – but in this case the Academy choose name over performance. Regardless, I do hope that this performance will open the door for him to more big Hollywood audiences. Putting the acting aside, the great strength of this film were definitely cinematography, sound and visual effects – and if Gravity wasn’t in the race this year, this would have been my No.1 pick. In particular, I liked the effects to make this a 70s movie by making the colors much more vivid to emphasize the era of this film. Also the retro fonts for announcing the races resonated really well with me and a) made the race events more interesting in itself and b) gave it a sports-movie/documentary touch. Looking at the effects and feeling the movie wanted to convey, the shoots through the helmet and the drivers view were super effective for me. It all made the movie a really well-rounded and beautifully crafted experience.

Well, I guess since this is a review, I will need to also name some problems I had with the movie but for that I have to think really hard. Agreeably, this is a light movie and it doesn’t really try to be something as deep and serious as 12 Years A Slave or as ambitious as Gravity. This movie just wants to tell an interesting story and entertain. And my indicator for the success of that operation is, did I look at my phone or do something random in the meantine…and the answer is no, thus the movie was a success.

I highly recommend watching it.

The Good

  • Daniel Bruehl ruling a Hollywood blockbuster…yay, Germany
  • Awesome visual effects and cinematography
  • Pure blockbuster entertainment

The Bad

  • A very easy experience
  • If you don’t know the real story, the trailer totally spoils everything


  • Running time: 123 min
  • Genre: Biopic, Action
  • Year: 2013

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