Rush

RUSH

James Hunt claimed to have slept with over 5000 women. Niki Lauda, in an interview to promote Rush, said that he was only 30% of the playboy Hunt was. That’s still 1500 women. Oh to endure the comparative poverty of a fellow racing driver.

In anticipation of playing James Hunt, Chris Hemsworth shed 14 of the 98 kilos he’d acquired to play the titular character in Disney’s Thor. In the DVD extras he admitted how hard he found this imposed discipline. For a film this good; one which will probably never leave his actor’s reel, it won’t feel like an unnecessary sacrifice. A wedding diet to make the memories emphatically memorable.

Rush will eventually be regarded as motor racing’s Top Gun. You really should have seen it when it came out in the cinema. Watching those spectacularly vintage cars zooming around on a fifty foot screen; left numb from the bass vibrations of the engines and dreaming about the mischief you could make with an aristocratic accent and a willingness to drive recklessly.

At the German Grand Prix in July 2013, a pre-release copy was screened to an audience of F1 drivers, racing staff and team bosses. Director Ron Howard would later say that the experience had been the most demanding “reality test” since he screened a copy of Apollo 13 for a number of NASA astronauts and crew in 1995. Rush got a standing ovation.

There has been some speculation that excessive artistic licence was taken with the portrayal of risk in the film. However in an interview with the BBC, Kevin McConway, Professor of Applied Statistics at the Open University said that between 1966 and 1976, a Formula 1 driver had a 0.35% chance of dying each race (or 4.4% per season). If a driver competed in every race for five years, his chance of death reached 20%. A risk which in today’s terms which would require the average person to drive 1.5 million miles or complete 500 skydives.

This is the second screenwriter/director collaboration that Peter Morgan has made with Ron Howard after their critically acclaimed ‘Frost/Nixon’ in 2008. The duo’s next film, Heart of the Sea, also starring Chris Hemsworth, is due for release in 2015. If it’s even half as good as Rush, it’ll be one of the best films of the year.

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