MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Chris Hemsworth as JAMES HUNT
Daniel Brühl as NIKI LAUDA
Olivia Wilde as SUZY MILLER
Alexandra Maria Lara as MARLENE LAUDA
Pierfrancesco Favino as CLAY REGZZONI
David Calder as LOUIS STANLEY
Directed by: Ron Howard
BY KEVIN CARR
There was a time when I considered Ron Howard to be one of the greatest living directors on the planet. While I still think he’s a fantastic director with a real handle on filmmaking, his most recent batch of movies have been just okay in my opinion. Sure, “Frost/Nixon” was a well made movie, but I never saw the awards appeal to the movie.
Strangely enough, I found his more mainstream blockbuster films to be most enjoyable, particularly “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” (Let’s just all agree not to talk about “The Dilemma.” After all, no one does anymore… not even Kevin James.)
To me, “Rush” was very much like “Frost/Nixon.” It had massive award season potential, and it was a very well made movie. However, it was also not at all in my realm of interest. Where “Frost/Nixon” seemed an academic exercise to revisit an interview that had no bearing on anything aside from people who are extremely polarized politically (because whether Nixon admitted to anything had no bearing on history or his standing), “Rush” is an academic exercise for fans of Formula 1 racing.
I’m not a fan of Formula 1. I’m not even a fan of Indycar or Nascar, which are the dominent racing circuits in America. The whole racing world leaves me cold, which is why I had a lukewarm reaction to “Rush.”
You can read my full review of the theatrical release here, along with a synopsis and radio elements. Suffice to say, I found the story of Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) to be more interesting than that of Jim Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). This was a soap opera with high-octane gasoline, and the focus on Hunt seemed to be more about the actor and his popular interest since being in “The Avengers.”
While the human element of “Rush” is quite good, it’s still more about the racing than anything else. And while that can be interesting to some, when it veers back onto the race track and the audience needs a scorecard and golf pencil to track who is in the lead, I simply lost interest.
The features on the “Rush” Blu-ray are mediocre. It’s not loaded with information, but there are some decent featurettes involved. The package comes with a DVD and access to a digital download through UltraViolet. General features include deleted scenes and a featurette about the director: “Ron Howard: A Director’s Approach.” Features exclusive to the Blu-ray include the long-form “Race for the Checkered Flag: The Making of Rush” as well as “The Raw Story of Rush.”