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Rush / Rated R For Language, Sex, Nudity, And Blood-Letting Due To High Speed Car Crashes, Fires And Flying Auto And Body Parts

Based on opening weekend results, Rush is in no rush to recover its budget. It cost $38 million, and earned just above $10 million on what is probably its biggest weekend. It will be lucky to break even. I am not sure who this film was being marketed to, but the previews looked a little confusing and stuffy.

When I attended Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008) I was the only one in the theater who didn’t bring a dolly (I was tempted) and I was easily older than all the rest of the audience put together.

Now, at 66, I watched the audience as they entered and discovered I was easily the youngest person watching Rush. At least six of them wore vintage racing helmets and one carried a checkered flag. Three people were brought in on hospital gurneys and at least one appeared to be in a casket. The latter received a free pass.

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Rush is a look at a Formula One Racing rivalry that began in approximately 1970 and ran through the 1976 season. The two main competitors were Englishman James Hunt, playboy and bon vivant, and his hated rival, Austrian Niki Lauda. They were polar opposites both on and off the track.

With Rush, Director Ron Howard has delivered what is easily the best movie about racecar driving ever. I include Grand Prix (1966) with its big-time cast and enormous production values, and the Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward 1969 film Winning. Both Grand Prix and Winning use stock footage and scenes created for the screen to make the racing sequences impressive. Unfortunately both these films descend into hokey soap operas that bring the races and film to a stop.

The main competitors in Rush are portrayed by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and less known Spanish actor Daniel Bruhl. DB’s full name is Daniel Cesar Martin Bruhl Gonzales Domingo. The name alone would preclude him from Oscar consideration because reading his name would run over the allotted time for that plus the acceptance speech. Both CH and DB give Oscar-worthy performances. The film itself is so well made and written it will probably be remembered by the Oscar nominators, even though the financiers already wish they had never heard of any of them.

This movie stays focused. It keeps away from almost all of the soap and stays with the conflicting personalities and their clash over who is the best of the best. It’s a film not just for racing fans, but also for all who appreciate good movie making.

There is some violence and 150 MPH crashes. The effects of the crashes on those involved are realistically portrayed. There is also sex and nudity, but what do you expect from a film in which one of the characters is a well-known playboy?

Lauda is still alive and Hunt died in 1993. I would recommend you do not look into the facts of their lives if you intend to see the film. Actual footage of the real people is used in the end scenes, and part of the film’s interest comes from not knowing what’s going to happen to them. If you have an interest in the subject, Google Lauda and Rush after you see Rush.

Rated 3.8 out of 4.0 reasons to rush to Rush. The finish line is in sight. And they could use the money.

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