Rush (2013) is a movie which premiered in the UK on September 2nd and opened in the US on September 27th, directed by Ron Howard with Chris Hemsworth playing British Playboy James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Austrian Precision Driver Niki Lauda. The story narrates their rivalry in the 1976 Formula One Championship, one of the most dramatic seasons the sport has ever known, back when "sex was safe and driving was dangerous".The rest is history, one which you will NOT regret watching.The score was composed by Hans Zimmer and the script was penned by Peter Morgan. The movie was blessed by the real Niki Lauda who acted as a consultant for both Peter Morgan and Daniel Brühl.This page needs love. Give it some!
Anyone Can Die: With an average of 2 deaths a year, most drivers learned to live with the thought that the current race could be their last.
Artistic License - History: Hunt and Lauda were at worst friendly enemies and in their Formula 3 days actually shared an apartment together. Likewise, Lauda's comments at the end of the film that he last saw Hunt "at the side of the road with a flat tire on his bicycle" neglect to mention that at the time Hunt was trying his hand at professional cycling, which he did fairly well at for a few years. And something excised completely was that Niki was quite the womanizer himself-nowhere near James's legendary number, of course, but he's had his share of women. note Hell, HE'S the one with an illegitimate child.
Awesome by Analysis: While riding in future wife Marlene's car, Niki reels off an impressive laundry list of mechanical problems that he claims he sensed using his ass. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Niki Lauda performed a Sherlock Scan with his butt.
Bilingual Bonus: Some characters, including two main ones, speak their native language. Thankfully they are subtitled.
Bittersweet Ending: The movie ends with Niki watching James walk away, while a voiceover of him discusses James's later life and death at the early age of 45. Interspliced is footage and pictures of the real James and Niki, the final ones being one of James's final pictures and one of present day Niki.
Book Ends: The movie starts and ends with Niki Flipping the Bird to James. At the beginning, Niki is doing it in anger after James calls him a chicken in Formula Three. By the end, it could almost be called affectionate, cause by then they're both F1 champions and equals. James had joked that the accident made Niki look better and Niki's grinning as he flips him off.
Brilliant but Lazy: James Hunt, who, after winning the 1976 Championship, decided that was good enough for him, retiring from the sport only three years later.
Blue Oni Red Oni: Niki was the Blue Oni to James' Red, though played with, since Niki is calculating, methodical, and cares little about building a social life, but he's got a temper and makes some emotional decisions. James is definitely the more exuberant and emotion-driven one, but he takes racing seriously.
Blunt Yes: When James tells Niki that he feels responsible for the accident that left the latter's face disfigured, Niki doesn't hesitate to agree.
Brutal Honesty: Niki will speak his mind, no matter what and no matter who is present.
Truth in Television too: a favorite story of Daniel Brühl's is when he and Niki decided to meet, Niki told him to just bring hand luggage so 'if they didn't like each other he could piss off right away'. (In case you're wondering, Daniel spent so long in Vienna he ended up buying more clothes.)
The Cameo: The real Alastair Caldwell, former Team Manager of McLaren, shows up during the final Press Conference at the Japanese GP. He's the moustached man sitting behind the drivers.
Cassandra Truth: Niki is fully aware of how dangerous Nürburgring is and tries to convince the rest of the drivers to cancel the race due to bad conditions, but is ignored mostly through his own personality and James's swaying of the room.
Character Development: Niki Lauda had the most notable one, going from being an emotionless driver who thought happiness was a weakness to re-evaluating his life after his nearly fatal crash at Nürburgring, becoming a little mellower and friendlier, especially towards James.
For James, it sure seemed like it when Hesketh folded, leaving him without a drive, and his marriage was beginning to crumble. Then Emerson Fittipaldi leaves McLaren to start his own team and James talks his way into getting the empty seat over Jacky Ickx.
For Niki, of course, it was his Nurburgring crash.
Niki Lauda, who, after having the Last Rites administered and with extensive burns to his face and scalp, not to mention severe lung damage, did everything in his power to get back in his car in time for the Italian GP, finishing it in 4th place, all of that in only 42 days.
James as well, during the 1976 season - plagued by persistent mechanical problems that caused him to not finish several races, he kept on plugging away until he was near the top of the standings by the final race of the season.
Down to the Last Play: James Hunt needs to finish third or better in the last F1 race of the season to be world champion. He finishes third on the last lap of the race to beat Lauda by a single point and becomes world champion.
Elopement: Niki and Marlene, in direct contrast to James and Suzy's very public, showy wedding.
In real life, Lauda actually had a rat emblem on his helmet because of this. (And later a cartoon rat was the mascot for his airline.)
Emotionally Tongue Tied: Niki is fully aware of his own love-related skills (or lack thereof), which he readily admits to Marlene.
Establishing Character Moment: In James Hunt's first appearance, he's been fighting with a jealous husband, whereas in Niki Lauda's, he seems to have been meticulously inspecting the track since five o'clock in the morning.
Fanservice: Quite a few male and female characters are naked or half-naked. It's hard to leave the theater disappointed.
Foreshadowing: The reflection of the fire in the window next to Niki's face while he's considering his mortality to Marlene.
Friendly Enemy: It took them a long time, but eventually they got there. Sadly one of the things changed for the sake of narrative; in real life James and Niki were always friendly enemies, even roommates in the early days.
Gilligan Cut: Marlene, after Niki gives a Long List of things wrong with her car, indignantly says that the car was just serviced and is in "perfect condition". Cut to the inevitable smoking car by the side of the road.
Grey and Grey Morality: The movie goes out of its way to not pit either James or Niki as the 'hero' or the 'villain' in the story. Neither are bad people per se, just two very different people with two different and equally valid lifestyles and driving styles. But yes, they're both assholes.
Handicapped Badass: Niki Lauda, after the infamous Nürburgring accident, returned to race in the Italian GP with his wounds still bleeding.
Happily Married: Subverted with James Hunt and Suzy Miller. Played straight with Niki Lauda and Marlene. Just don't read Niki's Wikipedia page regarding that.
Ironic Echo: At the Nurburgring, when Niki calls for the race to be cancelled on account of the treacherous rain, James sways everyone to race anyway by suggesting Niki's only doing it to preserve his chances of retaining the title. Cue Fuji, and worse rain, and James is the one calling for the race to be cancelled, even though doing so automatically gives the title to Niki. Not that it mattered, both races went on. (In real life James actually did try to withdraw. Alastair literally threatened to break James's neck if he got out of the car.)
Jammed Seatbelts: Niki is seen struggling with the release on his five-point harness as his car is in flames around him. Undoubtedly his difficulty with it is due the to fact that his face is on fire and he's trying not to breathe superheated toxic fumes. The drivers who rescue him manage to pop the release once they are able to get through the flames.
Jerk Ass: The reporter who asks Niki if his marriage could really last after his facial disfigurement. James and Niki also had their moments, though they prefer the term 'asshole'.
Ladykiller in Love: Averted with James, who marries Suzy after knowing her for a matter of weeks but could seemingly care less when she leaves him. In real life he even befriended the man she left him for.
Mile-High Club: For James, though it's less for fanservice and more for showing his growing restlessness and frustration.
Nice Guy: Clay Regazzoni, who went as far as recommending Niki Lauda, who was his team mate in BRM, to Enzo Ferrari himself, getting him a drive in the Scuderia. Not to mention cautioning Lauda against humiliating himself by taking James Hunt's sloppy seconds.
Nice Hat: At the final scene we see Niki's iconic red hat that he started wearing to hide his scars (before he started renting out the front for advertising space, anyway).
No Holds Barred Beat Down: James administers one to a reporter who is ill-advised enough to rudely ask Niki if Marlene could possibly go on loving him after his face was disfigured in the Nürburgring crash.
Hunt (to the badly-beaten reporter): "Why don't you go home and ask your wife if she will still love you!"
Rated M for Manly: Racing 800kg 450hp cars at 200+kph during insanely dangerous driving conditions - oh, hell yes!
Doubly so during the last race, when James Hunt's gearlever snaps off - and he bloodies his hands shifting.
The Rival: James Hunt and Niki Lauda saw each other as that.
Rules Lawyer: Niki plays this card with his one of his early Formula 1 races with James by accusing the British racer's car of being of illegal width. The judges examine it and agree, which disqualifies James' win and handicaps him for a number of races with mechanical failures as his crew struggles to modify the car to fit it within regulations even though the ruling was later overturned.
Scenery Porn: There's a shot of the beautiful Italian landscape when Marlene's car breaks down.
Second Place Is for Winners: Both of the racers experience this trope. Niki for placing an impressive 4th in a race so soon after being so seriously injured and disfigured after a major car crash and James for placing 3rd in Tokyo, which is good enough to win the racing championship. Furthermore, Niki may have lost the title to James, but he's alive to try again, and to him that was more important.
Show Some Leg: Marlene invokes this in order to get a ride after her car breaks down - "This is Italy, after all." Subverted because the two guys who stop turn out to be huge Team Ferrari/Niki Lauda fanboys and ignore her completely!
Lauda: "Fuck you. Press conference over!" (leaves the room)
Slo-Mo Big Air: A subversion in that just before Niki's disastrous crash, his car gets a split second of air time; instead of being thrilling, it is instead an ominous sign considering the very point of the wings and fins on Formula 1 cars is to prevent that kind of lofting, meaning the car is obviously not performing correctly.
The Stoic: Niki Lauda rarely smiled. In fact, he only seemed to show emotions when he was around James Hunt and, perhaps, his wife Marlene.
This is a bit of an example of Adaptation Decay - although he presents a very serious face in interviews, most photographs of Lauda, especially candid ones, actually show him smiling (or even laughing), suggesting a more easygoing personality than the image he consciously tries to project.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Actually, the movie's pretty damn accurate on some things, but the fact that some things have been changed for the sake of narrative (such as the example on Friendly Enemy) and there are a couple of things made from whole cloth (such as the incident with James and the reporter) that keep it from being a Dramatization instead. It certainly helped that the real Lauda vetted the process and on the whole approves of the movie, and wishes Hunt had lived to see it. (He did joke that he had gotten girls too, though.)
Victorious Loser: Niki may have lost the title to James, but he's alive to try again, and after the Nurburgring, that was more important to him. Besides, he'd go on to win two more titles, so if anything it's a setback, not a loss.
Vitriolic Best Buds: James's and Niki's relationship has evolved into something like this by the end of the film.
Worthy Opponent: Niki pretty much declares James as his in his final voiceover.
Wham Episode: Formula One fans knew it was coming but for the average moviegoer there are two: Niki's accident and Niki withdrawing from the Japanese Grand Prix. Then again, considering these were Wham Episodes when it happened in Real Life, it evens out for the F1 fans, at least those alive during the 1976 season.
Wham Line: Likewise, F1 fans knew it was coming, but non-fans wouldn't, at the Italian Grand Prix: