Rush: A confusing racing rivalry - You probably missed this one, but worth watching - 3 stars

Some films come and go from theatres so quickly you do not have the opportunity to even consider them. Rush was one of those movies from 2013 that finished its run in theatres faster that a Formula 1 event. 

The story of a heated rivalry between two F1 drivers in the 70s may not cause people to race to see it, but it is worth viewing. 

Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) has directed some great films over the years and knows how to tell a captivating story. Even though I was not familiar with F1 racing, I enjoyed this retelling of the story of rivalry between drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt's

(I am moving to a 5 star rating system for categories) 

Direction, Acting & Storyline: 5 stars

Ron Howard tells a great story of rivalry in Formula 1 racing. Even with no experience or interest in the sport, I was able to follow the story and was captivated by the imagery, acting and tension between these larger than life characters. 

Chris Hemsworth (Avengers) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Bastards) played their roles exceptionally well. Hemsworth manages to move out from under the superhero persona. In studying the actual people in the story, Howard manages to capture look and attitude of these drivers. Interestingly, this might be one of the reasons for it failed to capture audiences. The way the characters are written and acted did not make me like either of them. Their flaws overshadow their talent. Even when tragedy strikes the story, it is hard to cheer for either of the drivers. The filming and story are captivating, but as a viewer, I was not sure who to support. This was not a failure of the director, but of the real-life characters. 

Visual Effects: 5 stars

Howard directs the action and visuals beautifully. The viewer understands the risk, drama and intensity of racing without having endure excessive race footage. The drama is primarily in the opposing characters of Lauder and Hunt. The story spans six years, but the years race by quickly. Ron Howard's direction is the strength of the film. 

Family Component: 1 star

Warning label: This is a film with adult content 
The lifestyles of the racers is the weakest portion of the story. I understand the need to to keep to the realities of the industry. The lifestyle of racing includes arrogance, excessive drinking, language and sexual content. 

God Component: 1 star

Rush is the telling of a true story and there is nothing in the narrative about God.  The only hint of any religious elements were last rites given to a race car driver.

In all of the glory, the competition and the lifestyle, this sort of F1 racing left me with the words of Ecclesiastes ringing in my head, '“Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

The rivalry was intense, the charters were bigger than life, the filming was fantastic, but in the end the story left me with an empty tank. 

Overall Rating: 3 stars

Rush is a story of extremes. Fast cars, intense characters, great rivalry, but empty lives. I would recommend this film with a warning. This is a film for those appreciate good movie making, but need to be discerning with the adult themes. 

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews