The Fast and the Envious  | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Screen » Film

The Fast and the Envious 

Rush: A Peek into Ron Howard's Mind

by

comment

Director Ron Howard's new biopic Rush—about rival Formula One drivers in the '70s—is good. It's not great, and it's not "meh"... it's just solidly "good." In other words, it's exactly what one would expect from solidly "good" director Ron Howard. However, a closer look makes one suspect that Rush says more about its director than its characters.

Racing nuts are well acquainted with the bitter rivalry between Formula One champs James Hunt and Niki Lauda—primarily because these two could not have been more different. Hunt was a stunningly handsome English playboy (well played here by the stunningly handsome Chris Hemsworth), a hard-partying adrenaline junkie who raced on pure instinct. Conversely, Lauda was the methodical Austrian (just as perfectly embodied by Daniel Brühl) who intricately planned every race, and knew his car better than his mechanics. He was also nicknamed the "Rat"—due to his less-than-stunning looks and general unlikeability.

Both were dicks to each other, and their obsessive rivalry nearly pushed each other to their deaths—but it's pretty apparent whom director Howard is siding with in this "objective" biography: Lauda. While one can't help but admire Hunt's wicked driving skills, he's still a type-A personality meathead who generally despises the thoughtful, workmanlike mentality that Lauda (and Howard) represent.

And like Lauda's brilliant driving, Howard's work comes off as similarly methodical, expertly thought out, and gorgeous to watch. And also a little bloodless. The plot's by-the-numbers structure, the only moderately thrilling race scenes, the almost heavy-handed morality—there are no surprises here. (Other than the aforementioned gorgeous cinematography, which absolutely nails the look and feel of early '70s racing flicks such as Steve McQueen's Le Mans.)

Howard obviously respects the brutish sensuality and performance of Hunt, and that twinge of jealousy is apparent here. If a filmmaker with Hunt's personality had made Rush, it could've been amazing or absolutely terrible—at least we know we're in safe, "good" hands with Howard.

Rush

dir. Ron Howard

Various Theaters

Add a comment

More by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey

  • The Terrorists Have Won

    Clint Eastwood's American Sniper shoots (and misses)
    • Jan 14, 2015
  • Brain Dead

    Lucy uses maybe five percent of its brain
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Let's Do it Again

    22 Jump Street: Bring on number 23!
    • Jun 19, 2014
  • More »