Ron Howard is, no doubt, a capable director, and Rush, a biographical action film directed by Howard to a script by Peter Morgan, is, for the most part, an engaging movie. Yet this film, depicting the 1976 Formula One season, with the rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda as its main focus, is missing a critical element - one central likable character. Both Hunt and Lauda, portrayed to strong performances by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, are protagonists. Hunt, a playboy popular with the crowds, and even more so with the ladies (amongst his claims to fame is having sex with 5,000 women – no, not all at once...) is depicted as a person motivated by emotions and instincts. His opponent, Lauda, is an introvert logician who understands mechanics and taking calculated risks. The two polarized characters are what Howard centered the film about, yet in doing so he left the audience with nothing more than a biodrama, appropriate for the History channel more than for the big screen. It is somewhat atypical of Howard who usually tends to go a little overboard with melodrama.
It also worth mentioning that Lauda, the surviving protagonist (Hunt passes away in 1993,) commented on Rush that the film is quite accurate. Yet the film suggests that Hunt and Lauda first met as rivals on the track while in reality both were roommates earlier in life and quite good friends anywhere else but on the track.
All in all despite missing a villain to dislike and a protagonist one can really feel for, Rush is an enjoyable film.