14 September 2013 4:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Ron Howard's populist take on James Hunt and Niki Lauda's 70s rivalry is a thrilling hymn to male pride and motor sport

A true story of chalk-and-cheese Formula One drivers – one hot-headed, the other coolly calculating – locked together in a life-and-death rivalry may well seem familiar to UK filmgoers. Yet Asif Kapadia's brilliantly dramatic documentary Senna remains largely unseen by mainstream audiences in America, where it was also scandalously overlooked at the Oscars (here, it won two prestigious Baftas).

To fill that gap, we now have Rush, Ron Howard's multiplex-friendly account of the friction-filled relationship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, which eerily echoes the tensions teased out between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Kapadia's groundbreaking work. Well oiled, excitingly noisy and machine-tooled for maximum popcorn appeal, Howard's roaring drama depicts men risking life and limb in insanely dangerous circumstances, although the film itself prefers »

- Mark Kermode

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