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Rush [Blu-ray]

Guide price: £13

Last updated on 27th Feb 2014

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Rush [Blu-ray]

Ron Howard’s Rush--set in Formula One’s 1970s heyday, when ‘sex was safe and driving was dangerous’--is a gripping story of fire and ice rivalry that makes today’s rights-managed Formula One look as dull as rain. Culminating in the summer of 1976 and filtered through a layer of colour-faded nostalgia, Rush follows the intertwining careers of James Hunt--the English rock ‘n’ roll star of motor racing--and his chief rival Niki Lauda, a prickly newcomer with a head for engineering and a Spartan work ethic.

Chris Helmsworth plays Hunt, as sporting a playboy as the late George Best, striding handsomely around Monaco’s sunlit racetrack with an open shirt and a hairfull of shining wind. Bankrolled by aristocratic friends and at ease among the sport’s Riviera set, his career and his popularity are overshadowed when Lauda (made enormously likable by Daniel Brühl) catches the eye of an ambitious Ferrari team on the lookout for a new breed of racing driver.

As Hunt drifts though a string of beds, boozers and petty brawls, Lauda patiently racks up the points, spending long nights obsessing over his car and those precious milliseconds that can mean an eternity at the margin. A deadly rivalry will do wonders for your career--and Hunt vs.

Lauda erupts into snaking dogfights around the hazardous circuits of Monza, Silverstone, and near-fatally at the Nürburgring. Hunt is more alive to the alluring danger of racing--references to the famously large number of women he’s meant to have slept with are left out--but it’s Lauda who pays the higher price, and the film’s dramatic heart is Lauda’s psychological comeback, despite devastating injuries, as he prepares for a final showdown.

--Leo Batchelor

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