A high octane story of life in the fast lane

Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in 'Rush'
Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt in 'Rush'

Rubber burns and tempers fray between two very different Formula 1 drivers in the 1970s: charismatic ladies’ man James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and ambitious Austrian speed fiend Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl).

The two men have very different approaches to their craft. Hunt relishes the trappings of fame, proposing to his first wife, model Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), on the spur of the moment.

Lauda is devoted to testing, working his mechanics into the ground to shave a few hundreds off lap times at the expense of personal relationships. So when he falls madly in love with Marlene Knaus (Alexandra Maria Lara), he fears the repercussions. “Happiness is the enemy, it weakens you. Suddenly you have something to lose,” he declares.

Daredevil duels between the two men reach a horrifying crescendo at the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring when Lauda’s Ferrari bursts into flames, trapping him in the inferno.

An incredible six weeks later, Lauda emerged from hospital with extensive scarring, determined to prevent Hunt from claiming the chequered flag at Monza.

Directed with brio and turbo-charged by stirring performances from Hemsworth and Bruhl, ‘Rush’ is a riveting evocation of a bygone era. An uplifting story of admiration and friendship purrs beneath the bonnet of Howard’s direction offering plenty of high-speed thrills for petrol heads.

Screenwriter Morgan selects the choicest cuts of the facts for the big screen, including horrific scenes at the hospital where a badly burnt Lauda drifts in and out of consciousness but still musters enough strength to growl: “Tell the priest to get lost. I’m still alive!”.

‘Rush’ (Cert 15, 122 mins, Studio Canal, Drama/Action/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99/Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray £29.99).

Also out this week: ‘Sunshine On Leith’, ‘The Call’, ‘The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones’, ‘Bounty Killer’, ‘Last Passenger’, ‘Crystal Fairy & The Magic Cactus’, ‘Traveller’, ‘The Selfish Giant’ and ‘Ripper Street’ Series II.

Look out for more film and DVD reviews in next week’s ‘Guide’. You can also find a wide variety of things online to see and do on our special dedicated entertainments website at www.wow247.co.uk