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Richard Roeper Blog

REVIEW: ‘Rush’: Chris Hemsworth in an instant auto racing classic

n the individual sports, it’s nearly impossible to become a champion for the ages if you don’t have a fierce and lengthy rivalry with an opponent of near or equal skill and heart.

Jack Nicklaus needed Arnold Palmer. Muhammad Ali needed Joe Frazier. Nadal/Federer, Hagler/Hearns, Earnhardt/Waltrip, Duran/Leonard …

And in the 1970s on the Formula One racing circuit, it was Niki Lauda vs. James Hunt. They needed each other.

Even if you don’t know Formula One from the Soap Box Derby, Ron Howard’s “Rush,” like all great sports movies inspired by true events, is foremost about getting to know and understand the characters. By the time we get to the inevitable Big Game/Race/Match, the stakes are so high and the drama so real we find ourselves tensing up — even though we’re watching a re-creation of events long since in the record books.

 

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